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University of California Berkeley 


Acquired in memory of 













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Utility, not originality, has been aimed at in the compilation 
of this work. The obstacles and difficulties its author had met 
with in his endeavors to learn something of the article he was 
commissioned to sell when he first entered the Tea trade, the 
almost total lack of knowledge displayed by the average dealer 
in the commodity, allied to the numerous inquiries for a work con- 
taining " all about tea," first prompted the undertaking. 

The material was collated at intervals, in a fragmentary 
manner, covering a period of over twenty years, and arranged 
amid the many interruptions incident to an active business life, 
subjected to constant revisions, repeated prunings and innumerable 
corrections, due mainly to the varying statements and conflicting 
opinions of admitted authorities in every branch of the subject. 
Still, as careful and judicious an arrangement of the data has been 
given as possible, a faithful effort being made to omit nothing that 
may prove useful, instructive or profitable to the expert, the dealer 
or general reader. 

Aware that many facts have been omitted, and many errors 
committed in its preparation, he still trusts that the pains he has 
taken to avoid both have not been in vain, that the former may be 
few, and the latter of no great importance. The work was com- 
piled under impulse, not under inducement, a single line not being 
intended originally for the market, and is now being published 
solely for the benefit of those " whom it may concern." 

PHILADELPHIA, December, 1892. 


Chapter Page 




FORM . 37-49 







TION 237-252 


INDUSTRY 253-265 

(Branch of Tea Plant.) 



'HE history of Tea is intimately bound up with 
that of China, that is, so far as the Western world 
is concerned, its production and consumption 
>eing for centuries confined to that country. But, 
having within the past two centuries become known and 
almost indispensable as an article of diet in every civilized 
country of the globe, it cannot but prove interesting to 
inquire into the progress, properties and effects of a com- 
modity which could have induced so large a portion of 
mankind to abandon so many other articles of diet in its 
favor, as well as the results of its present enormous con- 

Although now to be found in a wild state in the 
mountain-ranges of Assam, and in a state of cultivation 
through a wide range from India to Japan, the original 
country of Tea is not definitely known, but from the 
fact of its being in use in China from the earliest times 
it is commonly attributed to that country. Yet though 
claimed to have been known in China long anterior to 
the Christian era, and even said to have been mentioned 
in the Sao-Pao, published 2700 B. c., and also in the Rye, 
600 B. c., the exact date or manner of its first discovery and 
use in that country is still in doubt. One writer claims 
that the famous herb was cultivated and classified in 
China 2000 B. c., almost as completely as it is to-day, and 
that it was used as a means of promoting amity between 
Eastern monarchs and potentates at this early period, 


Chin-Nung, a celebrated scholar and philosopher, who 
existed long before Confucius, is claimed to have said 
of it: "Tea is better than wine, for it leadeth not to 
intoxication, neither does it cause a man to say foolish 
things and repent thereof in his sober moments. It is 
better than water, for it doth not carry disease ; neither 
doth it act as a poison, as doth water when the wells 
contain foul and rotten matter," and Confucius admon- 
ishes his followers to : " Be good and courteous to all, even 
to the stranger from other lands. If he say unto thee that 
he thirsteth give unto him a cup of warm Tea without 
money and without price." 

A Chinese legend ascribes its first discovery to one 
Darma, a missionary, famed throughout the East for his 
religious zeal, who, in order to set an example of piety 
to his followers, imposed on himself various privations, 
among which was that of forswearing sleep. After 
some days and nights passed in this austere manner, 
he was overcome and involuntarily fell into a deep 
slumber, on awakening from which he was so distressed 
at having violated his vow, and in order to prevent a 
repetition of allowing " tired eyelids to rest on tired eyes," 
he cut off the offending portions and flung them to the 
ground. On returning the next day, he discovered that 
they had undergone a strange metamorphosis, becoming 
changed into a shrub, the like of which had never been 
seen before. Plucking some of the leaves and chewing 
them he found his spirits singularly exhilarated, and his 
former vigor so much restored that he immediately rec- 
ommended the newly discovered boon to his disciples. 

Tradition, on the other hand, never at a loss for some 
marvelous story, but with more plausibility, claims that 
the use of Tea was first discovered accidentally in China 
by some Buddhist priests, who, unable to use the brackish 


water near their temple, steeped in it the leaves of a 
shrub, growing in the vicinity, with the intention of 
correcting its unpleasant properties. The experiment 
was so successful that they informed the inhabitants 
of their discovery, subsequently cultivating the plant 
extensively for that express purpose. While another 
record attributes its first discovery about 2737 B. c. to 
the aforementioned Chin-Nung, to whom all agricultural 
and medicinal knowledge is traced in China. In replen- 
ishing a fire made of the branches of the Tea plant, some 
of the leaves fell into the vessel in which he was boiling 
water for his evening meal. Upon using it he found it 
to be so exciting and exhilarating in its effects that he 
continued to use it; imparting the knowledge thus gained 
to others, its use soon spread throughout the country. 

These accounts connected with the first discovery of 
the Tea plant in China are purely fabulous, and it is not 
until we come down to the fourth century of the Chris- 
tian era that we can trace any positive allusion to it by a 
Chinese writer. But, as the early history of nearly every 
other ancient discovery is more or less vitiated by fable, 
we ought not to be any more fastidious or less indul- 
gent towards the marvelous in the discovery of Tea 
than we are towards that of fire, iron, glass or coffee. 
The main facts may be true, though the details be in- 
correct; and, though the accidental discovery of fire 
may not have been made by Suy-Jin in the manner 
claimed, yet it probably was communicated originally by 
the friction of two sticks. Nor may it be strictly correct 
to state that Fuh-he made the accidental discovery of 
iron by the burning of wood on brown earth any more 
than the Phoenicians discovered the making of glass by 
burning green wood on sand, yet it is not improbable 
that some such accidental processes first led to these 


discoveries. Thus, also, considerable allowances are to 
be deducted from the scientific discoveries of Chin-Nung 
in botany, when we read of his having, in one day, dis- 
covered no less than seventy different species of plants 
that were poisonous and seventy others that were anti- 
dotes against their baneful effects. 

According to some Chinese authorities, the Tea plant 
was first introduced into their country from Corea as late 
as the fourth century of the present era, from whence it is 
said to have been carried to Japan in the ninth. Others 
again maintaining that it is undoubtedly indigenous to 
China, being originally discovered on the hills of those 
provinces, where it now grows so abundantly, no date, 
however, being named. While the Japanese, to whom 
the plant is as valuable as it is to the Chinese, state that 
both countries obtained it simultaneously from Corea, 
about A. D. 828. This latter claim not being sustained 
by any proof whatever Von Siebold, to the contrary 
who, relying on the statements of certain Japanese writers 
to this effect, argues in support of their assertions, the 
improbability of which is unconsciously admitted by Von 
Siebold himself when he observes " that in the southern 
provinces of Japan the tea plant is abundant on the 
plains, but as the traveler advances towards the moun- 
tains it disappears," hence inferring that it is an exotic. 
The converse of this theory holding good of China, a 
like inference tends to but confirm their claim that with 
them the plant is indigenous. That the Japanese did 
not originally obtain the plant from Corea but from 
China is abundantly proven by the Japanese themselves, 
many of whom admit that it was first introduced to 
their country from China about the middle of the 
ninth century. In support of this acknowledgment it 
is interesting to note, as confirming the Chinese origin 


of tea, that there is still standing at Uji, not far from 
Osaka, a temple erected on what is said to have been the 
first tea plantation established in Japan, sacred to the 
traditions of the Japanese and in honor of the Chinese 
who first introduced the tea plant into the Island empire. 
Another more authentic account states that the Tea- 
seed was brought to Japan from China by the Buddhist 
priest Mi-yoye, about the beginning of the thirteenth 
century, and first planted in the southern island of Kiu- 
siu, from whence its cultivation soon spread throughout 
that country. 

Some English writers go so far as to claim that As- 
sam, in India, is the original country of tea, from the 
fact that a species has been discovered there in a wild 
state as well as in the slopes of the Himalaya moun- 
tains. But though found in both a wild and cultivated 
state in many countries of the East at the present time, 
all its Western traditions point to China, and to China 
only, as the original country of Tea, and that the plant 
is native and indigenous to that country is indisputably 
beyond question. 

It was not known to the Greeks or Romans in any 
form ; and that it could not have been known in India in 
very early times is inferred from the fact that no refer- 
ence to the plant or its product is to be found in the 
Sanscrit. But that the plant and its use, not only as an 
agreeable and exhilarating beverage, but as an article of 
traffic worthy of other nations, must have been known to 
the Chinese as early as the first century of the Christian 
era, the following extract from an ancient work entitled 
the " Periplous of the Erythraen Sea," may serve to prove. 
The author, usually supposed to be Arryan, after describ- 
ing " a city called Thinae," proceeds to narrate a yearly 
mercantile journey to the vicinity of "a certain people 


called Sesataei, of short stature, broad faces, and flat 
noses " evidently natives of China adds " that the arti- 
cles they bring for traffic outwardly resemble vine leaves, 
being wrapped in mats, which they leave behind them 
on their departure to their own country in the interior. 
From these mats the Thinae pick out a haulm, called 
petros, from which they draw the fibre and stalks ; spread- 
ing out the leaves, they double and make them up into 
balls, passing the fibre through them, in which form they 
take the name of Malabathrum, and under this name 
they are brought into India by those who so prepare 
them." Under any interpretation this account sounds 
like a remote, obscure and confused story. Still one of 
the authors of the able " Historical Account of China," 
published in 1836, has ventured to identify this Mala- 
bathrum of the Thinae with the Tea of the Chinese. 
Vossius Vincent and other authors, while admitting the 
difficulty of understanding why it should be carried from 
Arracan to China, and from China back to India, unhesi- 
tatingly assert that Malabathrum was nothing more than 
the Betel-leaf, so widely used in the East at the time as 
a masticatory. Horace mentions Malabathrum, but only 
as an ointment. Pliny refers to it both in that sense 
and as a medicine. Dioscorides describing it as a mas- 
ticatory only. While the author of the " Historical Ac- 
count " prefers to consider the passage in the Periplous 
as a very clumsy description of a process not intelli- 
gently understood by the describer, but as agreeing far 
better with the manipulation of Tea than with that of 
the Betel-leaf, and his conjecture, unsupported as it is, 
merits citation if only for its originality. 

The first positive reference to Tea is that by Kieu- 
lung in the fourth century, who not only describes the 
plant, but also the process of preparing it, of which the 


following is a free and condensed translation : " On a slow 
fire set a tripod, whose color and texture show its long 
use, and fill it with clear snow-water. Boil it as long as 
would be sufficient to turn cray-fish red, and throw it 
upon the delicate leaves of choice Tea. Let it remain as 
long as the vapor arises in a cloud and only a thin mist 
floats on the surface. Then at your ease drink the pre- 
cious liquor so prepared, which will chase away the five 
causes of sorrow. You can taste and feel, but not de- 
scribe the state of repose produced by a beverage thus 
prepared." It is again mentioned by Lo-yu, a learned 
Chinese, who lived during the dynasty of Tang, in 618, 
who became quite enthusiastic in its praise, claiming that 
" It tempers the spirits, harmonizes the mind, dispels las- 
situde and relieves fatigue, awakens thought and clears 
the perceptive faculties," and according to the Kiang- 
moo, an historical epitome, an impost duty was levied 
on Tea as early as 782 by the Emperor Te-Tsing, and 
continued to the present day. 

McPherson, in his " History of European Commerce 
with India," states that Tea is mentioned as the usual 
beverage of the Chinese by Solieman, an Arabian mer- 
chant, who wrote an account of his travels in the East 
about the year 850. By the close of the ninth century t 
however, Tea was found in general use among the Chi- 
nese, the tax upon it at that time being a source of con- 
siderable revenue as recorded by Abuzeid-el-Hazen, an 
Arabian traveler cited by Renaudot in a translation of 
his work. There is also independent evidence furnished 
by two other Arabian travelers in a narrative of their 
wanderings during the latter half of the ninth century, 
admitting their statements to be trustworthy as to the 
general use of Tea as a beverage among the Chinese at 
that period. Moorish travelers appear to have intro- 


duced it into Mohammedan countries early in the tenth 
century, and other travelers in China in the seventeenth 
give most extravagant accounts of its virtues, which ap- 
pears to have been in very general use throughout the 
greater part of Asia at that time. 

Father de Rhodes, a Jesuit missionary, who entered 
China in 1633, states that "the use of Tea is common 
throughout the East, and begins, I perceive, to be known 
in Europe. It is in all the world to be found only in two 
provinces of China, where the gathering of it occupies 
the people as the vintage does us." Adding that he 
found it in his own case to be an instantaneous remedy 
for headache, and when compelled to sit up all night to 
hear confessions its use saved him from drowsiness and 
fatigue. Adam Olearius, describing the travels of an 
embassy to Persia in 1631, says of the Persians : " They 
are great frequenters of taverns, called Tzai Chattai, where 
they drink Thea or Cha, which the Tartars bring from 
China, and to which they assign extravagant qualities, 
imagining that it alone will keep a man in perfect health, 
and are sure to treat all who visit them to this drink at 
all hours." These strong expressions as to the use of 
Tea, applying as they do to a period not later than 1640, 
are sufficient to prove that the ordinary accounts place 
the introduction of that beverage as regards Europe, 
particularly the Continent, as too late. 


The earliest European notice of Tea is that found in 
a work by Ramusio, first printed in 1550, though written 
several years prior to that year. In it he quotes Hazzi 
Mohamed in effect, "And these people of Cathay (China) 
do say that if these in our parts of the world only knew 


of Tea, there is no doubt that our merchants would 
cease altogether to use Ravino Cini, as they call rhu- 
barb." Yet no accounts at present accessible establish 
the date of its first introduction into Europe, and it 
is also a difficult matter to determine to which of the 
two nations Portugal or Holland the credit of first 
introducing it belongs. Some writers claiming that 
the Dutch East India Company brought Tea to Am- 
sterdam in 1600, while the Portuguese claim the honor 
of its first introduction prior to that year. An indis- 
putable argument in favor of the latter is the notice 
given of it by Giovani MafFei in his " History of India," 
published in 1559. " The inhabitants of China, like those 
of Japan," he writes, "extract from an herb called Chia 
a beverage which they drink warm, and which is ex- 
tremely wholesome, being a remedy against phlegm, 
languor and a promoter of longevity." While Giovani 
Botero, another Portuguese, in a work published in the 
same year, states that " the Chinese have an herb from 
which they press a delicate juice, which they use instead 
of wine, finding it to be a preservative against these dis- 
eases which are produced by the use of wine amongst 
us." Taxiera, also a native of Portugal, states that he 
saw the dried leaves of Tea at Malacca some years 
prior to 1600, and the article is also mentioned in one 
of the earliest privileges accorded to the Portuguese for 
trading in 1558; yet it was not until nearly a century 
from the beginning of that trade that we find the first 
distinct account from a European pen of the use of Tea 
as a beverage. 

In a " Dissertation upon Tea, by Thomas Short," 
printed in London, in 1730, the author gives the follow- 
ing account of its first introduction into Europe : " The 
Dutch East India Company on their second voyage 


to China carried thither a good store of Sage and ex- 
changed it with the Chinese for Tea, receiving three to 
four pounds of the last for one pound of the first, by 
calling it a wonderful European herb possessed of as 
many virtues as the Indians could ascribe to their shrub- 
leaf. But because they exported not such large quan- 
tities of Sage as they imported of Tea they also bought 
a great deal of the latter, giving eight- to tenpence a 
pound for it in China. And when they first brought 
it to Paris they sold it for thirty livres the pound ; but 
thirty years ago the Chinese sold it at threepence, and 
never above ninepence a pound at any time, frequently 
mixing it with other herbs to increase the quantity." 
Macaulay also states in the history of his embassy to 
China that " early in the seventeenth century some 
Dutch adventurers, seeking for such objects as might 
fetch a price in China, and hearing of a general use 
there of a beverage produced from a plant of the coun- 
try, bethought themselves of trying how far a European 
plant of supposed great virtues might also be appreci- 
ated by the Chinese ; they accordingly introduced to 
them the herb Sage, the Dutch accepting in exchange 
the Chinese Tea, which they brought back with them 
to Holland." These statements but tend to confirm 
the Portuguese claim, the efforts of the Dutch to open 
up trade with the Chinese in Tea being evidently made 
many years subsequent to its introduction by the former; 
in still further support of which the following may be 
noted : 

In 1662 CHARLES II. married the Portuguese princess, 
Catharine of Braganza, who, it is said, was very fond of 
Tea, having been accustomed to it in her own country. 
Waller, in a poem celebrating the event, ascribes its first 
introduction to her country in the appended lines : 


' ' Venus her myrtle has Phoebus her bays ; 
Tea both excels, which she vouchsafes to praise. 
The best of Queens and best of herbs we owe 
To that proud nation which the way did show." 

The earliest mention made of Tea by an Englishman 
is that contained in a letter from a Mr. Wickham, agent 
of the East India Company at Firando, Japan, and dated 
June 27, 1615, to a Mr. Eaton, another officer of the 
Company, resident at Macao, China, asking for " a pot 
of the best Cha." How the commission was executed 
does not appear, but in Mr. Eaton's subsequent account 
of expenditures occurs this item, "Three silver por- 
ringers to drink Tea in." The first person, however, 
to advocate the use of Tea in Europe was Cornelius 
Bottrekoe, a professor of the Leyden University, who, 
in a treatise on " Tea, Coffee and Chocolate," published 
in 1649, strongly pronounces in favor of the former, 
denying the possibility of its being injurious even when 
taken in immoderate quantities. 

Tea was evidently known in England previous to its 
direct importation there, small quantities having been 
brought from Holland as early as 1640, but used only 
on rare occasions. The earliest mention made of it, 
however, is that contained in a copy of the "Mercurius 
Politicus" at present in the British Museum, and dated 
September, 1658, in which attention is called to "that 
excellent, and by all Physitians approved, China drink, 
called by the Chineans Tcha, by other nations Tay, sold 
at the Sultaness Head, a Cophee-house by the Royal 
Exchange, London." The most famous house for Tea 
at this early period, however, was Garway's, more pop- 
ularly known for upwards of two centuries as " Garra- 
way's," being swept away only a few years ago by the 
march of improvement. Defoe refers to it as being " fre- 


quented only by people of quality, who had business 
in the city and the wealthier citizens " ; but later it be- 
came the resort of speculators, and here it was that the 
numerous schemes which surrounded and accompanied 
the " Great South Sea Bubble " had their centre, and, 
appropriately enough, " Garraway's " was also the head- 
quarters of that most remarkable but disastrous Tea 
speculation of 1842. 

A singular handbill issued by its founder is still ex- 
tant, being discovered by accident in a volume of pamph- 
lets found in the British Museum, where it may still be 
inspected. Although the document bears no date, there 
is ample internal evidence to prove that it must have 
been printed about 1660. It is a quaint and extraor- 
dinary production, purporting to be "An exact descrip- 
tion of the leaf Tea, made according to the directions 
of the most knowing merchants and travelers in those 
Eastern countries, by Thomas Garway," setting forth 
that : 

"Tea is generally brought from China, growing there on little 
shrubs, the branches whereof are garnished with white flowers of 
the bigness and fashion of sweetbriar, but smell unlike, and bear- 
ing green leaves of the bigness of myrtle or sumac, which leaves 
are gathered every day, the best being gathered by virgins who 
are destined for the work, the said leaves being of such known 
virtues that those nations famous for antiquity, knowledge and 
wisdom do frequently sell it among themselves for twice its 
weight in silver. That it hath been used only as a regalia in 
high treatments and entertainments, presents being made thereof 
to grandees." 

Proceeding at considerable length to enumerate its 
" virtues," many of which are decidedly apocryphal, and 
attributing to the beverage, among its other properties, 
that of 


"Making the body active and lusty, helping the headache, 
giddiness and heaviness, removing the difficulty of breathing, 
clearing the sight, banishing lassitude, strengthening the stomach, 
causing good appetite and digestion, vanishing heavy dreams, 
easing the frame, strengthening the memory, and finally prevent- 
ing consumption, particularly when drank with milk." 

Many other remarkable properties being credited to 
this wonderful " Chinese herb," the advertiser closes his 
great encomiums by suggesting 

"That all persons of eminence and quality, gentlemen, and 
others who have occasion for tea in the leaf may be supplied. 
These are to give notice that the said Thomas hath the same to 
sell from sixteen to fifty shillings the pound." 

If the article had possessed but a tithe of the virtues 
and excellencies accorded to it by the celebrated Garway 
it must have been recognized at the time as the coming 
boon to man. 

Up to 1660 no mention is made of Tea in the English 
statute books, although it is cited in an act of the first 
parliament of the Restoration of the same year, which 
imposed a tax of " eightpence on every gallon made and 
sold, to be paid by the maker thereof." This was sub- 
sequently increased to five shillings per pound in the 
Leaf, which at the time was stated to be " no small preju- 
dice to the article, as well as an inconvenience to the 
drinker." Ever since that year the duty on Tea has 
been one of the hereditary customs of the Crown, 
though Parliament has at sundry times, by different acts, 
fixed divers duties upon it. 

Pepys alludes to Tea in his Diary, under date of Sep- 
tember 25, 1 66 1, the entry reading : " I did send for a cup 
of Tee, a China drink, of which I never drank before " ; 
and again, in 1667, he further mentions it. " Home, and 
there find my wife making of Tee, a drink which Mr. 


Felling, the Potticary, says is good for her cold." But 
that it still must have continued "rare, is veiy evident, as 
in 1664, it is recorded that the East India Company made 
the king what was then considered " a brilliant present 
of 2 Ibs. of Tea, costing forty shillings," and two years 
later another present of 22 Ibs., both parcels being pur- 
chased on the Continent for the purpose. 

It was not until 1668 that the East India Company is 
credited with the direct importation of Tea into England, 
which, although chartered in 1600, for the first time con- 
sidered Tea worthy their attention as an article of trade. 
The order sent to their agents in that year was : " for 
100 Ibs. of the best Tey they could procure to the 
amount of ^25 sterling." Their instructions must, how- 
ever, have been considerably exceeded, as the quantity 
received was 4,713 Ibs., a supply which seems to have 
" glutted the market " for several years after. Up to this 
time no alarm had been excited that the use of Tea was 
putting in peril the stalwarthood of the British race. 
But in the very year of this large importation we find 
Saville writing to his uncle Coventry, in sharp reproof 
of certain friends of his " who call for Tea, instead of 
pipes and wine," stigmatizing its use as "a base, un- 
worthy Indian practice," and adding, with an audible 
sigh, " the truth is, all nations are getting so wicked as 
to have some of those filthy customs." Whether from 
sympathy of the public with these indignant reprehen- 
sions or other causes, the whole recorded imports for the 
six following years amounted to only 410 Ibs., the quan- 
tities imported continuing small and consisting exclus- 
ively of the finer sorts for several years thereafter. 

The first considerable shipment of tea reached London 
about 1695, from which year the imports steadily and 
rapidly increased until the end of the seventeenth cen- 


tury, when the annual importations averaged 20,000 
pounds. In 1703 orders were sent from England to 
China for 85,000 pounds of Green Tea and 25,000 pounds 
of Black, the average price at this period ranging from 
1 6 to 20 shillings ($4 to $5) per pound. The Company's 
official account of their trade did not commence before 
1725, but according to Milburn's "Oriental Commerce" 
the consumption in the year 1711 had increased to up- 
wards of 142 million pounds, in 1711 to 121 millions, 
and in 1720 to 238 million pounds. Since which time 
there has been nothing in the history of commerce so 
remarkable as the growth and development of the trade 
in Tea, becoming, as it has, one of the most important 
articles of foreign production consumed. 

For above a century and a half the sole object of the 
English East India Company's trade with China was to 
furnish Tea for consumption in England, the Company 
during that period enjoying a monopoly of the Tea 
trade to the exclusion of all other parties. They were 
bound, however, " to send orders for Tea from time to 
time, provide ships for its transportation, and always to 
keep at least one year's supply in their warehouses," 
being also compelled to " bring all Teas to London, and 
there offer them at public sale quarterly, and to dispose 
of them at one penny per pound advance on the gross 
cost of importation, the price being determined by add- 
ing their prime cost in China to the expenses of freight, 
insurance, interest on capital invested, and other charges." 
But in December, 1680, Thomas Eagle of the "King's 
Head," a noted coffee-house in St. James, inserted in the 
London Gazette the following advertisement, which shows 
that Tea continued to be imported independently of the 
East India Company : " These are to give notice to per- 
sons of quality that a small parcel of most excellent 


Tea has, by accident, fallen into the hands of a private 
person to be sold. But that none may be disappointed, 
the lowest price is 30 shillings in the pound, and not any 
to be sold under a pound in weight." The persons of 
quality were also requested to bring a convenient box 
with them to hold it. 

The East India Company enjoyed a monopoly of the 
trade in Tea up to 1834, when, owing to the methods of 
calculation adopted by the Company, and the heavier ex- 
penses which always attend every department of a trade 
monopoly, the prices were greatly enhanced. Much dis- 
satisfaction prevailing with its management, this system 
of importing Teas was abolished, the Company being 
deprived of its exclusive privileges, and the Tea trade 
thrown open to all. 

In all probability Tea first reached America from 
England, which country began to export' in 1711, but 
it is claimed to have been previously introduced by some 
Dutch smugglers, no definite date being given. The first 
American ship sailed for China in 1784, two more ves- 
sels being dispatched the following year, bringing back 
880,000 pounds of Tea. During 1786-87, five other 
ships brought to the United States over 1,000,000 
pounds. In 1844, the "Howqua" and " Montauk " 
were built expressly for the Tea trade, being the first 
of the class of vessels known as " Clippers," in which 
speed was sought at the expense of carrying capacity, 
and by which the average passage was reduced from 
twenty to thirty days for the round trip. The trade in 
tea was entirely transacted at Canton until 1842, when the 
ports of Shanghai, Amoy and Foo-chow were opened by 
the treaty of Nankin, the China tea trade being mainly 
conducted at the latter ports. As late as 1850, all vessels 
trading in tea carried considerable armament, a necessary 


precaution against the pirates who swarmed in the China 
seas during the first half of the last century. 

The progress of this famous plant has been something 
like the progress of Truth, suspected at first, though 
very palatable to those who had the courage to taste it, 
resisted as it encroached, and abused as its use spread, 
but establishing its triumph at last in cheering the 
world, from palace to cottage, by the resistless effect of 
time and its own virtues only; becoming a beverage 
appreciated by all, as well as an agent of progress and 



Although Tea may be claimed to be in all its associa- 
tions eminently peaceful, growing as it does on the hill- 
sides of one of the most peaceful countries in the world, 
coming to us through the peace-promoting ways of com- 
merce, until it reaches its ultimate destination, that cen- 
tre of peace the family table and like peaceful sleep, 
" knitting up the raveled sleeve of care," yet it has been 
the occasion of several wars and political problems, the 
latest of which is the precipitation of the great Chinese 
exodus, which at present threatens such vital results, 
not only to our own country, but possibly to the world 
at large. 

It was destined as in all social and political affairs, 
the greatest and most important events are curiously 
linked with the smallest and most insignificant to be 
the final crisis of the American Revolutionary movement. 
Think of it ! The birth of the greatest nation of all time 
due to a three-penny tax on tea! It was the article 
chosen above all others to emphasize the principles that 


" all men are born free and equal" and that " taxation 
wit/wnt representation is tyranny" and for the establish- 
ment of which principles a war was fought, that when 
judged by the law of results, proves to have been the 
most important and fruitful recorded on history's pages. 
Who, in looking back over the long range of events 
conserving to create our now great country, can fail to 
have his attention attracted to what has been termed, 
with a characteristic touch of American humor, "The 
Boston Tea Party of 1773"? Who could have then 
predicted the marvelous change that a single century 
of free government would have wrought ? Who could 
have dreamed that Tea would have proved such an im- 
portant factor in such a grand result ? What a lesson to 
despotic governments ! A dreary November evening ; a 
pier crowded with excited citizens ; a few ships in the 
harbor bearing a hated cargo hated not of itself, but for 
the principles involved ; on the decks a mere handful of 
young men a few leaders in Israel urged on by the 
fiery prescience of genius, constituting themselves an ad- 
vance guard to lead the people from out the labyrinth of 
Remonstrance into the wilderness of Revolution. 

It is true that previously other questions had been fac- 
tors in the dispute, but a cursory glance at the history of 
the time will show that heated debates had been followed 
by periods of rest, and acts of violence by renewed loy- 
alty. The " Navigation laws " had caused much indigna- 
tion and many protests, but no violence to mention. As 
early as 1768 the famous "Stamp Act" was passed and 
repealed. The period intervening between its passage 
and repeal gave opportunity for public opinion to crys- 
tallize and shape itself. It sifted out of the people a mod- 
ern Demosthenes, gifted with the divine power of draping 
the graceful garment of language round the firm body of 


an IDEA! George III. would not profit by the example 
of Caesar or of Charles, and while North had avowed 
his willingness to repeal the tax on all other articles, he 
promised the king that " he would maintain this one tax 
on Tea to prove to the Colonists his right to tax'.' 

The trade in Tea at this time was a monopoly of the 
English East India Company, which just then had ac- 
quired an immense political prestige, but lost heavily 
by the closing of the American market, the Company's 
warehouses in London remaining full of it, causing their 
revenue to decline. North was induced to offer them a 
measure of relief by releasing from taxation in England 
the Tea intended for America, but he still persisted in 
maintaining the duty of threepence to be paid in Ameri- 
can ports, and on the loth of May this farcical scheme 
of fiscal readjustment became a law. The Company 
obtained a license for the free-duty exportation of their 
Tea to America in disregard of the advice of those who 
knew that the Colonists would not receive it. Four ships 
laden with Tea were despatched to the ports of Boston, 
New York, Philadelphia and Charleston. The Colonists 
prepared for their expected arrival, public meetings 
being held in Philadelphia and Boston, at which it was 
resolved that the Tea should be sent back to England, 
and so notified the Company's agents at these ports. 
The Boston consignees refused to comply with the popu- 
lar demand, all persuasion failing to move them. The 
matter was then referred to the Committees, who imme- 
diately resolved to use force where reason was not 
heeded. When the vessels arrived, a meeting was held 
in the Old South Church, at which it was resolved, "come 
what will, the Tea should not be landed or the duty paid" 
Another appeal was made to the Governor, which was 
also denied ! Upon this announcement Samuel Adams 


arose, saying, " This meeting can do nothing more to 
save the country'' The utterance of these words was a 
preconcerted signal ; the response, an Indian war- 
whoop from the crowd outside. A band of young men, 
not over fifty, disguised as, and styling themselves, 
" Mohawks," rushed down to the wharf where the 
vessels lay; the ships were boarded, the Tea chests 
broken open and emptied' into the river. From the 
moment that the first Tea-leaf touched the water the whole 
atmosphere surrounding the issues involved changed ! In 
that instant, with the rapidity of thought, the Colonies 
vanished and America arose / 

When the news of these proceedings reached England, 
it provoked a storm of anger, not only among the adher- 
ents of the government, but also among the mercantile 
and manufacturing classes, they having suffered heavy 
losses by the stoppage of trade with America. The 
commercial importance and parliamentary influence of 
the East India Company swelled the outcry of indigna- 
tion against which they termed the outrage of destroying 
its property. All united in the resolve to punish the 
conduct of Boston for its rejection of the least onerous 
one of an import duty on tea. What followed has been 
told in song and story Lexington and Concord, Bunker 
Hill, Valley Forge and Yorktown. A new nation sprang 
into existence, taking its stand upon the pedestal of 
"EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL," under a new government 



ESIDES the character of the different varieties of 
tea and other information connected with the 
plant and its product, we have to notice the dif- 
ferent parts of the world in which it is now or 
may be grown in the future, as many practical questions 
of considerable importance are dependent on the subject. 
For upwards of two centuries and a half the world's 
supply of tea was furnished exclusively by China, and it 
was not until well into the middle of the nineteenth cen- 
tury that China and Japan were the only two tea-produc- 
ing countries in the world, their product reaching the 
western markets through the narrowest channels and 
under the most oppressive restrictions. Its cultivation 
however, has in that time been extended to other coun- 
tries, most notably into Java, India and Ceylon. 

Tea is more or less cultivated for local consumption in 
all the provinces of China, except the extreme northern. 
But to what exact degree of latitude it is difficult to be 
precise, as we are without definite information from those 
regions, and the vast empire of China not being suffici- 
ently explored by botanists to warrant the assertion that 
the plant is not to be found in other parts of the country, 
at least in a wild state. So far, however, it has not been 
discovered there, except in a state of cultivation, or as 
having evidently escaped from cultivation on roadsides 
or other out-of-the-way places. 

We know that it is cultivated in Tonquin and Yunnan, 
but only to a limited extent, the product of these 



provinces being also of a very inferior quality. It is 
grown in Cochin-China and the mountain ranges of Ava, 
but only for local consumption, and that, while it is indige- 
nous to the mountains, separating China from Burmah, 
it is not cultivated there for either export or profit, and 
although claimed by some authorities to be grown all over 
the Chinese empire, its cultivation for commercial pur- 
poses is confined to the region lying between the 24th and 
35th degrees of north latitude, the climate between these 
parallels varying to a considerable extent, being much 
warmer in the southern than in the northern provinces. 
The districts in which it is chiefly cultivated, however, 
and from which it is principally exported, are embraced 
in the southwestern provinces of Che-kiang, Fo-kien, 
Kiang-see, Kiang-nan, Gan-hwuy Kwang-tung, some little 
being also produced for export in the western province 
of Sze-chuan. 

It is cultivated for commercial purposes all over the 
Japanese islands, from Kiu-siu, in the south, to Niphon, 
in the extreme north, but the zone found most favorable 
to its most profitable production in these islands is that 
lying between the 3Oth and 35th degrees, more especially 
in the coast provinces of the interior sea. It is also 
grown to some extent in Corea, from which country 
although claimed by some to be the original country of 
tea none is ever exported. 

In the year 1826 some tea seeds were sent from Japan 
to Java and planted as an experiment in the residency of 
Buitzenorg, where they were found to succeed so well 
that tea-culture was immediately commenced on an 
extensive scale in the adjoining residencies of Cheribon, 
Preanger and Krawang, the number of tea trees in the 
former district amounting to over 50,000 in 1833. The 
several other districts of the island to which it had been 


extended, now containing upwards of 20,000,000 trees 
from which over 20,000,000 pounds of prepared tea are 
annually delivered to commerce, tea-culture forming one 
of the chief industries of the island at the present day. 

A species of the tea plant has been found growing in 
a truly wild state in the mountain ranges of Hindostan, 
particularly on those bordering on the Chinese province 
of Yunnan, from which fact it is claimed by some writers 
as probable that these mountains are the original home 
of tea. Recent explorations also show that the tea plant 
is to be found growing wild in the forests of Assam, 
Sylhet and the Himalaya hills, as well as over the great 
range of mountains extending thence through China to 
the Yang-tse river. At an early period the British East 
India Company, as the principal trade intermediary be- 
tween China and Europe, became deeply interested in the 
question of tea cultivation in their eastern possessions, but 
without much success until in 1840, when the Assam Tea 
Company was formed, from which year the successful 
cultivation of tea in India has been carried on, the tea 
districts of that country including at the present time, in 
the order of their priority, Assam, Dehradun, Kumaon, 
Darjeeling, Cachar, Kangra, Hazarila, Chittagong, Bur- 
mah, Neilghery and Travancore. 

Various efforts were made to introduce tea-culture into 
Ceylon, under both Dutch and British rule, no permanent 
success being attained until about 1876, when the dis- 
astrous effects of the coffee-leaf disease induced the 
planters to give more serious attention to tea. Since 
that period tea cultivation has developed there with 
marvelous rapidity, having every prospect at the present 
time of taking first rank among Ceylon productions. 

Dr. Abel highly recommends the Cape of Good Hope 
as furnishing a fitting soil and climate for the beneficial 


production of tea, stating that "there is nothing improb- 
able in a plant that is so widely diffused from north to 
south being grown there." Tea of average quality being 
now shipped from Natal to the London market. 

Besides Java, India and Ceylon, where tea culture has 
been introduced and profitably demonstrated, numerous 
attempts have and are being made to colonize the plant 
in other countries than these of the East, but beyond the 
countries above enumerated, the industry has so far never 
taken root, for while the cultivated varieties of the tea- 
plant are comparatively hardy, possessing an adaptability 
to climate excelled alone among plants only by that 
of wheat, the limits of actual tea cultivation extend from 
the 39th degree of north latitude in Japan, through the 
tropics to Java, Ceylon, India and China, and while it 
will live in the open air in many of the countries into 
which it has been introduced and withstand some amount 
of frost when it receives sufficient summer heat to harden 
its root, but comparatively few of those regions are suited 
for practical tea-growing. 

As far back as 1872, some tea plants were sent from 
China to the Kew gardens in England, for the purpose 
of testing the possibility of its growth in that country. 
The attempt, however, ended in failure, the seeds never 
germinating, later efforts under more careful training 
meeting with the same fate. Considerable success 
attended its introduction into the islands of Bourbon and 
Mauritius, in 1844, the tea produced being pronounced 
as " excellent in flavor, but lacking in that strength and 
aroma so characteristic of the Chinese variety." 

Its cultivation has been recently attempted in the 
Philippines by the Spanish, in Sumatra and Borneo 
by the Dutch, and by the French in Cochin-China, 
nearly all of which experiments so far proving failures, 


the only success reported being from the latter country, 
where the soil is good and moisture equable. Tea 
plantations have also been lately opened up in Malay, 
Singapore, and other of the Straits settlements by the 
English ; some teas of fair quality, but insufficient quan- 
tity, having already produced in many of them. Its 
cultivation forms one of the industries of the Fiji islands 
at the present time ; the soil and climate of the latter 
being found eminently adapted to its successful propaga- 
tion, land and labor, the chief difficulties in other 
countries, being particularly available there. Extra- 
ordinary efforts are now also being made to introduce the 
plant into the warmer parts of Australia. 

Some ten years ago specimens of the Chinese tea- 
plant were introduced into the Azores, where they soon 
became acclimated, expert Chinese tea-makers being sent 
there specially a few years later to teach the natives how 
to manipulate the leaves. The industry has made such 
rapid progress there that regular shipments of " Madeira 
tea " are now being made to the London market, where 
it is affirmed that in strength and flavor it closely ap- 
proaches that of China tea. But while it has been found 
to flourish luxuriantly on the hilly parts of St. Helena, 
the quantity and quality are insufficient to justify its cul- 
tivation for either profit or export on that island. 

The Economic Society of St. Petersburg warmly 
advocates its cultivation in the Caucasus, while French 
and German naturalists declare that there is no region 
more suitable for the profitable cultivation of tea than the 
shores of the Black Sea, the climate being warm, moist 
and equable, and tea of more than average quality have 
already been produced between Batoum and Kiel, 
samples of which were exhibited at the exhibition 
recently held in Tiflis, the report on which was so 


encouraging that the society ventures the opinion " that 
in time Russia may compete with China and India in 
supplying the Western nations with tea." Efforts are 
also being made to introduce it into southern Italy, but 
while the soil and climate of those countries may be 
found admirably adapted for the purpose, there is no 
skilled labor lo prepare it properly. 

The cultivation of tea was attempted in the warmer 
parts of Brazil in 1850, some tea of very fair quality being 
produced in the vicinity of Rio Janeiro, and while the 
plant was found to flourish exceedingly well in the 
adjoining provice of Sao Paolo, the tea when prepared for 
use was found to be entirely too bitter and astringent for 
practical purposes. The lack of skilled labor and high 
cost of manufacture preventing its cultivation for profit, 
it was inferred that with everything else in its favor, tea 
as produced in Brazil would never be able to compete 
with that of China even for home consumption. 

Some few years since plantations were opened for the 
cultivation of tea in Mexico, Guatemala, and in some of 
the West India islands, but to the present no reports favor- 
able or otherwise, have been received regarding its pro- 
gress in these countries. Still, in the face of all draw- 
backs, with the example of the many failures and final 
success achieved in India and Ceylon, much may yet be 
accomplished in Brazil and other South American coun- 
tries by intelligent cultivation, modern machinery and 
perseverance in solving the problem of growing at least 
their own tea. 

With regard to the efforts to introduce the tea-plant 
into the United States, the earliest notice which comes 
under observation is that contained in the Southern 
Agriculturist, published in 1828, and in which it is stated 
that " the tea-tree grows perfectly in the open air near 


Charleston, where it has been raised for the past fifteen 
years, in the nursery of M. Noisette. But as imported 
from China it would cost too much to prepare for com- 
mercial use." Another historical effort was that made in 
1848, by Dr. James Smith, at Greenville, S. C, but 
although commenced with great enthusiasm the plantation 
never was increased to any appreciable extent. Neither 
was it brought to a condition, as far as can be ascertained, 
to warrant the formation of any reliable opinion as to the 
practicability of tea-culture in this country as an indus- 
try. Nevertheless, the circumstances of its failure are 
quoted as a proof that tea cannot be produced for com- 
mercial purposes or even for home consumption in this 
country. While the truth is that as a test for the pur- 
poses named, the attempt was of no value whatever, and 
never was so considered by those conversant with its 
cultivation or management. 

But while the. plant barely survives the winter north of 
Washington, it has been found to thrive successfully a 
little south of that district. It bears fruit abundantly 
on the Pacific coast, where the soil and climate are 
especially favorable to the growth of broad-leaved ever- 
greens, both native and exotic, and will flourish much 
further north there than in the Eastern states. 

Still the progress of these efforts to grow tea in other 
countries than China, Japan and India, must necessarily 
prove interesting as being calculated to make the world 
more independent of these countries for its supplies. 
Yet it is an established fact that the finest varieties of 
tea are best cultivated in the warmer latitudes and on 
sites most exposed to air and sunshine. 

^p^HERE are few subjects in the vegetable kingdom 
II ~\ that have attracted such a large share of public 
notice as the tea plant. Much error for a long 
time existed regarding its botanical classification, 
owing to the jealousy of the Chinese government pre- 
venting foreigners from visiting the districts where tea 
was cultivated ; while the information derived from the 
Chinese merchants at the shipping ports, scanty as it 
was, could not be depended on with any certainty. So 
that before proceeding to discuss the question of the 
species which yield the teas of commerce it may be well 
to notice those which are usually described as distinct 
varieties in systematic works. 

Tea is differently named in the various provinces of 
China where it is grown. In some it is called Tcha or 
cha t in others Tha or thea, in Canton Tscha, and finally 
Tia by the inhabitants of Fo-kien, from whom the first 
cargoes are said to have been obtained, and so pro- 
nounced in their patois as to give rise to the European 
name TEA. By botanists it is termed Thea, this last 
name being adopted by Linnaeus for the sake of its 
Greek orthography, being exactly that of Oex a goddess 
a coincidence doubtless quite acceptable to those who 
use and enjoy the beverage as it deserves. 

The species of the genus Thea are few in number, 
some botanists being of opinion that even these are of a 


single kind Camillia and is by them classed as Thea- 
Camillia. Others asserting that no relation whatever 
exists between these two plants, maintaining that the Thea 
and 'Camillia are widely different and of a distinct 
species. Yet, though the Camillia bears the same name 
among the Chinese as Thea and possesses many of its 
structural characteristics, distinctions are made between 
them by many eminent botanists, who hold that they 
differ widely and materially and are mostly agreed in 
the statement that the true Tea-plant is distinguished 
from the Camillia in having longer, narrower, thinner, 
more serrated and less shiny leaves, and that a marked 
difference is also noticeable in the form and contents of 
the fruit or pod. 

Davis argues that they constitute two genera^ closely 
allied but yet different, the distinctions consisting prin- 
cipally in the fruit or seed. The seed-vessel of the Thea 
being a three-lobed capsule, with the lobes strongly 
marked, each the size of a currant, containing only 
a single round seed, the lobes bursting vertically in 
the middle when ripe, exposing the seed. The capsule 
of the Camillia is triangular in shape, much larger in 
size, and though three-celled is but single-seeded. Ben- 
tham and Hooker, who have thoroughly revised the 
"genera plantatum" say they can find no good reason 
by which they can separate the Tea-plant as a genus dis- 
tinct from the Camillia, and so class it as Thea- Camillia. 
While Cambesedes contends that they are widely sepa- 
rated by several intervening genera, the difference being 
entirely in the form of the fruit or pod ; and Griffin, who 
is well qualified to form a correct opinion, states that, 
from an examination of the India Tea-plant and two 
species of the Camillia taken from the Kyosa hills, he 
found no difference whatever. The dehiscence in both 


plants is of the same nature, the only noticeable differ- 
ence really existing being of a simply specific value. The 
fruit of the Tea-shrub is three-celled and three-seeded 
while that of the Camillia is triangular in form and 
single-seeded only. 

Linnaeus, while recognizing the Tea-plant as belonging 
to the same family as the Camillia, Latinizes its Chinese 
name, classing it as Thea Sinensis, and dividing it into 
two species Thea Viridis and Thea Bohea; DeCandolle, 
while indorsing Linnaeus' classification, adds that " in 
the eighteenth century when the shrub which produces 
tea was little known Linnaeus named the genus Thea 
Sinensis, but later judged it better to distinguish two 
species which he believed at the time to correspond with 
the distinctions existing between the Green and Black teas 
of commerce." The latest works on botany, also, make 
Thea a distinct genus Thea Sinensis divided into two 
species Thea viridis and Thea bohea these botanical 
terms having no specific relation to the varieties known to 
commerce as Green and Black teas. It having also been 
proven that there is but one species comprehending both 
varieties, the difference in color and character being due 
to a variation in the soil, climate, as well as to different 
methods of cultivation and curing, from either or both 
of which Green or Black tea may be prepared at will 
according to the process of manufacture. 

In a wild state is large and bushy, ranging in height 
from ten to fifteen feet, often assuming the proportions of a 
small tree. While in a state of cultivation its growth is 
limited by frequent prunings to from three to five feet, 
forming a polyandrous, shrub evergreen with bushy stem 
and numerous leafy branches. The leaves are alternate, 
large, elliptical and obtusely serrated, varied and placed in 
smooth short-channeled foot-stalks, the calyx being small, 


and divided into five segments. The flowers are white, 
axilary and slightly fragrant, often three together in 
separate pedicils, the corolla having from five to nine 
petals, cohering at the base with filaments numerous and 
inverted at the base of the corolla. The anthers are large, 

Thea Sinensis. 

yellow and tre-foil, the capsule three-celled and three- 
seeded; and like all other plants in a state of cultivation, 
it has produced marked varieties, two of which Thea 
viridis and Thea bohea are critically described as distinct 
species, distinguished from each other in size, color, form 
and texture of the leaves, as well as other peculiarities. 


a, Gunpowder. I Young Hyson, c Imperial, d Hyson, t Twankey. 

Thea Viridis, 

Is a large, hardy, strong-growing shrub, with spreading 
branches and leaves one to two inches long, thin, weavy 
and almost membraneous, broadly lanceolate, but irregu- 
larly serrated and light-green in color. The flowers are 
large, white, solitary and mostly confined to the upper 
axil, having five sepals and seven petals, the fruit or pod 
being purple, nodding and three-seeded. It thrives with- 
out protection in the open air during winter, and is 
undoubtedly the species yielding the bulk of the Green 
teas of commerce. 


a Firsts, b Seconds, c Thirds, d Fourths. 

Thea Bohea, 

Is a much smaller variety, with branches stiff, straight 
and erect, the leaves are also smaller, flat, oblong 
and coriaceous, but evenly serrated and dark-green in 
color. The flowers or blossoms are usually two to three, 
situated at the axils, having from five to seven sepals and 
petals, and possessing a slight fragrance. It is more 
tender and prolific than the green variety, not standing 
near as cold a climate, and yields the Black teas of 
commerce principally. 

Considerable mystery and confusion for a long time 
existed regarding the species yielding the varieties known 
to commerce as Green and Black teas, many authorities 
claiming that the former were produced from the green 
tea-plant exclusively, and the latter solely from the black 


tea variety. While, again, it was erroneously held by 
others that both were prepared at will from a single 
species, the difference in color, flavor and effect was due 
entirely to a disparity in soil, climate, age and process of 
curing ; also, that Green teas were produced from plants 
cultivated on the plains or low lands, in a soil enriched 
with manure, and Black teas from those grown on hill 
sides and mountain slopes. Later and more careful 
investigation disprove these " opinions," the eminent 
botanical traveler, Robert Fortune, having satisfactorily 
and definitely set this much-vexed question at rest by 
examining the subject on the spot, finding that in the 
district of Woo-e-shan, where Black teas are principally 
prepared, the species Bohea only is grown ; and that in 
the province of Che-Kiang, where Green teas are exclu- 
sively prepared, he found the species Viridis alone culti- 
vated. But that the Green and Black teas of commerce 
may be produced at will from either or both species he 
found to be the case in the province of Fo-kien, where 
the black tea-plant only is grown, but that both the 
commercial varieties were prepared therefrom at the 
pleasure of the manufacturer and according to the 
demand. Yet while it is admitted now even by the 
Chinese themselves, that both varieties may be prepared 
at will from either species, it is a popular error to imagine 
that China produces the two commercial kinds in all 
districts, the preparation of the greater proportion of the 
respective varieties being carried on in widely separated 
districts of the empire, and from the corresponding 
species of the tea-plant, different methods being pursued 
in the process of curing; from the first stage, Green teas 
being only distinguished from Black in such instances by 
the fact that, the former are not fermented or terrified as 
high by excessive heat, or fired as often as the latter. 



It was also a commonly received opinion at one time 
that the distinctive color of Green teas was imparted to 
them by being fired in copper pans. For this belief there 
is not the slightest foundation in fact, as copper is never 
used for the purpose, repeated experiments by unerring 
tests having been made, but in not a single case has any 
trace of the metal been detected. 

-Pekoe, b Souchong, c Congou, d Souchong-Congou, 

Thea Assamensis, 


Which has lately attracted so much attention, partakes 
somewhat of the character of both the foregoing varieties. 
Some botanists, however, claim that it is a distinct species, 
while others who recognize but one genus, contend that 
the India plant is but a wild type of the Chinese variety, 
and that any difference existing between them is the 
result of soil, climate and special culture. Planters on 
the other hand distinguish many points of difference 
between the China and India tea-plants. The leaf of the 
latter when full grown measures from three to five inches 
in length, while that of the former seldom exceeds three; 
again, the leaC of the India species does not harden as 
quickly during growth, which is an important consid- 
eration in picking. The inflorescence of the latter also 
varies from that of the Chinese variety, its usual state 
being to have the flower solitary, and situated in the 
axils of the leaves, the number varying from one to five. 
In general, it is more prolific and matures quicker, which 
renders it more profitable, as it affords a greater number 
of pickings during the season ; but it is still doubtful if it 
is a true tea. In its geographical distribution, so far as 
latitude is concerned, the India tea-plant approximates 
most to the Black tea species of China, yet in its botanical 
characteristics and general appearance as well as in the 
size and texture of its leaves, it approaches nearer to the 
Green tea variety. 

Two other species described by Loureiro, but un- 
known to commerce, are classed as Thea Cochinchinensis. 
found in a wild state in the north of Cochin-China, where 
it is also extensively cultivated, but used medicinally by 
the natives as a diaphoretic. And Thea Oleosa (oil tea), 
grown in the vicinity of Canton, the seeds of which yield 
an oil used for illuminating purposes as well as an article 
of diet by the inhabitants. In addition to these there 


are also two doubtful species, known as Cankrosa and 
Candata, referred to by Wallach, as growing in Silhet 
and Nepaul. 


Previous to the seventeenth century it had long been 
the custom in many countries of Europe to make hot 
infusions of the leaves of various plants, most notably 
those of the Salvia (sage), which had at one time a high 
reputation as a " panacae," being greatly extolled by the 
Solieman school of physic, as a potent factor for the 
preservation of health, and it is the custom at the present 
time in many other countries where it is difficult or 
impossible to obtain China tea, to use the seeds or 
leaves of other plants as substitutes, the active principle 
of which, in many instances, is analagous, and in others 
identical with it. Among the former are the leaves of 
plants destitute of theine (the active principle of tea), but 
which possesses some other stimulating properties, and 
among the latter the leaves and seeds of other plants con- 
taining that principle, and consequently producing the 
same exciting effects, these include Coffee, Cocoa and 

Yerba Mate or " Paraguan tea," a species of Ilex, or 
holly, the leaves of which yield the same active principle 
(theine) characteristic of the China tea-plant. So closely 
does it resemble the latter in effect that many authorities 
claim it to be a species of that shrub, upwards of forty 
million pounds being annually produced and consumed 
in Paraguay and other South American countries. 

Coca Tea used extensively in Peru and Bolivia, 
composed of the dried leaves of the Coca tree, but 
though generally chewed, is more frequently prepared 
as a tea by the natives. In the infusion it possesses 


somewhat similar properties to China tea, and forms an 
important article of international trade among the various 
tribes, not less than thirty million pounds being annually 
consumed there. 

Guarana or " Brazilian tea," prepared from the seeds 
of the guarana by the inhabitants of the interior of that 
country, and so rich are they in theine that they have 
lately been adopted for the purpose of obtaining that 
principle in larger quantities for medicinal purposes. 

Ugni or " Chilian tea," produced from the leaves of 
that plant, but though generally used as a medicine, is 
as often prepared as a beverage. 

Cenopodium or " Mexican tea," made from an 
infusion of the leaves and seeds of that plant, but used 
only as a remedy in the treatment of asthma and bron- 
chitis by the natives of that country. 

Pimento or " Trinidad tea," prepared from a decoc- 
tion of the leaves of the pimento, and is in common use 
in that and other of the West India islands both as a 
beverage and a medicine. 

Bun-fullup or "Jungle tea," found in the Naga range 
in eastern Assam, and used by the Singphos in the same 
manner as the Chinese species and also as a medicine. 

Khat or " African tea," produced from an extract of 
the Khola nut, the active principle of which has recently 
been ascertained to be identical with that of the tea of 
commerce, is much used among the nomad tribes of 
Somali, the Soudan and other African countries. 

Cathadules or "Arabian tea," prepared from the 
leaves of that shrub in the same manner as ordinary tea, 
and extensively cultivated there for that purpose, as 
much attention being bestowed on it by the natives as on 
coffee. The leaves are also chewed, when green, like 


those of the Coca in South America, being highly intoxi- 
cating in effect, particularly in the wild state. 

Saxifraga or "Siberian tea," produced from a 
decoction of the leaves of that plant, but used only as a 
beverage in the same manner as those of China tea. 

Epilobium or " Russian tea," is prepared from the 
dried leaves of the common willow, and are also exten- 
sively used for mixing with the regular teas of commerce, 
commanding as high as four roubles a pound in the dried 
state, for that purpose; being also in common use among 
the poorer classes of that country as a substitute for 
China tea. 

Buxifolium or " Labrador tea," is made from an 
infusion of the leaves of that plant, and used extensively 
as a beverage by the natives of that country and adjoining 

Appalachian or " Pennsylvania tea," is prepared 
from an infusion of the Punos plant found growing in a 
wild state on the Allegheny mountains, and used as a bev- 
erage as well as for the purpose of imparting heat ; and 
while very closely resembling the tea-plant of China in its 
structural character, of its merits or drinking qualities as 
a tea nothing definite has as yet been ascertained. 

Ceanothus or " New Jersey tea," known to the Indians 
as " pong-pong," is prepared from the leaves of Red-root, 
and was at one time in general use and very popular among 
the natives of Virginia and the Carolinas, and was also 
extensively used in Revolutionary times as a. substitute 
for China tea when refusal was made to pay the tax upon 
the latter. 

Chimonanthus or " English tea," recently obtained 
from the leaves of that plant, and used as a substitute for 
China tea, as well as for mixing with it. Originally a 
native of China and Japan, it has been acclimatized in that 


country, where it is at present extensively used alone and 
as an adulterant. 

Coffee-leaf Tea in use in many of the Coffee-grow- 
ing countries, most notably in Arabia, Sumatra and the 
West India islands. It is prepared from the roasted 
leaves of the coffee-tree in the same manner as China 
tea, the natives of these countries particularly preferring 
it to any decoction made from the berries of the latter. 

Strawberry-leaf Tea obtained from the leaves of 
the common strawberry shrub, carefully dried and cured 
after the manner of the China plant. They are prepared 
and used in Germany particularly as a tea ; they yield a 
very close imitation of the liquor and flavor of the regu- 
lar tea of commerce, so much so that quite an industry 
has sprung up in their cultivation and preparation as a 
substitute for tea in that country. The celebrated " Faham 
tea" of the Mauritius being still another remarkable sub- 
stitute for the tea of China. But as with many of the 
foregoing should be regarded in the light of medicine 
rather than that of a regular beverage. 

That this characteristic element Theine should be pres- 
ent not only in the Tea-plant of China and Coffee-plant of 
Arabia, but also in so many others widely differing, so 
remote in situation, and so unlike in appearance, and 
from which millions of people in all parts of the world 
draw a refreshing and exhilarating beverage, is a striking 
and beautiful fact in nature. Under such a fact there may 
be more significance than science has yet elicited. 


Chinese, from time immemorial, have been 
accustomed to raising their tea on every available 
space of ground ; on barren hill-side, marshy plain 
and other patches of land unsuited for other purposes. 
Most of the gardens are, however, situated in hilly 
districts, but in almost all of them the soil is poor and 
sandy, varying considerably, even in districts alike famous 
for the perfect growth of the plant. 

The soil of the gardens situated on the hills is com- 
posed chiefly of a brownish clay, containing large pro- 
portions of vegetable matter intermixed with fragments of 
slate, quartz and sand-stone, held together by a calcareous 
basis of granite. A soil, in fact, very similar to that 
which produces pine and scrub-oak, while on the plains 
it is darker, but containing a still greater proportion of 
vegetable matter, enriched by sewerage but invariably 
well underdrained by natural declivities. Yet while many 
of the gardens are situated on the tops of mountains, 
among pine trees in some districts, and along river banks 
on others, the Chinese, as a rule, prefer ground that is 
only moderately elevated, in sunny sites, everything else 
being favorable. Many of the latter yield more abun- 
dantly, but the product of the former is invariably the 
finest in quality. 


With regard to climatic essentials the plant endures a 
tropical temperature well, at the same time accommodat- 
ing itself to the cold of winter without injury. But when 
cultivated for commercial uses in such latitudes the 
seasons are found too short for its profitable production 
there, and while it is successfully grown at zero cold in 
some districts, it is nevertheless most lucratively culti- 
vated in climates where the thermometer rarely falls more 
than six degrees below the freezing point. The climate 
varies to a considerable extent in the different districts of 
China where tea is grown, being excessively warm in the 
southern, and intensely cold in the northern provinces, 
snow being on the ground for days together in the latter 
or green tea producing districts. And though it has 
been proved by experiment that this variety will bear a 
greater degree of cold than the black, considerable snow 
falls annually in the province of Fo-kien, where Black 
teas are grown. The most important climatic consider- 
ation, however, is the amount of rain-fall, a dry climate 
being altogether unfit for tea cultivation ; a hot, moist or 
damp one being proved the best. The rain-fall in the 
most profitable tea districts ranges from 80 to 100 
inches per annum, the more falling in the spring months 
the better, and that too must be equally diffused. But 
where irrigation can be systematically introduced, this 
is of less importance. 


Tea is invariably raised from seed, in China, collected 
in the fall after the last crop has been gathered and placed 
in sand to keep them fresh during the winter months, 
and sown the following spring in nurseries. In sowing the 
seed from six to eight are put in pots about an inch below 
the surface, usually four feet apart, and covered with 


rice-husks or parched earth. In growing, many of the 
seeds prove abortive, scarcely one in five germinating. 
When the nurslings have attained a height of from four 
to six inches they are transplanted to the beds of the 
gardens in which they are to grow four to five feet 
apart. The plants are never manured in China, nor 
does it appear to be customary to prepare the ground 
for their reception, it being claimed by many authorities 
that manure, while it increases the yield, invariably 
spoils the flavor of the tea. Chinese growers in general 
asserting that teas produced without the aid of manure 
are always the most fragrant and aromatic. 

The plantations are laid out in the early spring, and 
being well watered by the copious rains which fall during 
this season, the young plants establish themselves, requir- 
ing very little care thereafter. Until they have attained 
a height of about 18 inches, the weeds are pulled regu- 
larly, not raked, and the leading shoots pinched to induce 
them to become numerous and bushy. When the season 
is dry they are saturated with rice-water and the roots 
covered, and if severely cold they are protected by a 
wrapping of straw, rising up in a cluster when the rains 
come and become firmly established, after which they 
require very little more attention except occasional weed- 
ing, until they are three years old. In some districts the 
branches are periodically pruned, the constant abstrac- 
tion of the foliage having a tendency to reduce the height 
and expand laterally, making them resemble a collection 
of plants rather than single shrubs, the size of the leaves 
in such cases being* smaller than when the plants are 
suffered to grow at will, but covering the branches so 
thickly as to prevent the hand being thrust through. 
An eastern exposure is avoided when near the sea, and 
care is also taken not to overshadow them by huge trees 


or noxious plants, certain notions prevailing concerning 
the injurious influence of such trees when growing too 
near the tea plants. When the soil is good and the 
season favorable the leaves can be picked when the 
plants are two years old, but if poor and dry, three years 
are usually required for them to mature. On the larger 
plantations three years are generally allowed before 
beginning to gather the first crop or picking. A tea 
plantation at this age when seen at a distance resembles 
a shrubbery of evergreens, the view being very pictur- 
esque, the gardens representing a series of terraces 
descending to the plain, and the rich dark-green leaves 
affording a pleasing contrast to the strange and oft-times 
barren scenery with which they are so frequently sur- 
rounded. There is a close analogy between the tea 
plantations of China and the vineyards of France, the 
quality of the tea varying according to the situation of 
the sites, the nature of the soil and their exposure to 
climatic changes. Thus, there are in China plantations 
of tea enjoying reputations equal to those of the best 
vineyards of Burgundy, Champagne and Bordeaux. 

There are three regular pickings in the course of a 
year. The first known as the Shon-cheun or " Early 
spring," occurring about the middle of April or begin- 
ning of May, according to the district, the product of 
which is termed Taou-cha or " head tea," a very supe- 
rior kind, consisting of the youngest, tenderest, and most 
delicate leaves and leaf-buds just expanding. The quan- 
tity obtained from this picking is limited in quantity but 
simply superb in quality, the very finest teas known to 
commerce, being prepared from them. The leaves are 
selected with the greatest care and picked with the 
utmost caution, such pains being taken to insure its 
excellence that for weeks before the harvest commences, 


the packers, who have been previously trained are pro- 
hibited from eating fish or other food considered unclean, 
lest by their breath they should contaminate the leaves, 
being also compelled to bathe two or three times daily 
in the picking season, as well as wear gloves during 
the operation. 

The second picking, called Er-chuen or " Second 
spring," takes place between the end of May and begin- 
ning of June, when the branches are literally covered 
with leaves, and yielding what is known in China as Tzu- 
cha or " filial tea," from the fact of its producing the 
largest quantity, constituting the most important crop of 
the season and forming the principal one exported, but 
being greatly inferior to the first in point of quality. 

The San-chuen, or " third crop," is gathered in July 
when the shrubs are searched for leaves, and the product 
converted into what is termed Wu-kua-cha or "tea without 
aroma," and though still more inferior to the preceding 
ones in quality and quantity, is nevertheless an important 
one commercially, forming the bulk of that exported as 
well as for blending with and reducing the cost of the 
preceding crop. A few leaves of the first picking will 
support five successive immersions, yielding five cups of 
moderately strong tea ; the second supplying only two 
and the third but one of the same strength to a like 

A fourth picking or rather " gleaning," termed the 
Chiu-lu or " Autumn dew," is made in the more prolific 
districts in September and October, the product of which 
is known as Ta-cha or " old tea," but of little value 
commercially. The leaves being large, coarse and 
almost sapless, are generally retained for home con- 
sumption by the poorer Chinese or for dyeing purposes, 
and still another grade is sometimes made by chopping 


up the stems and twigs of the foregoing with a shears, a 
practice, however, much to be condemned. The opera- 
tion of picking is one of the greatest nicety, only women 
and children being employed in its performance. A 
small basket is strung by a cord around the neck of 
each picker, in such a manner as to leave the hands 
free, a larger basket being placed near for general use. 
The branch is held by one hand while the leaves are 
carefully plucked with the other, for, except in the latter 
gatherings, no portion of the stem or stalk must be 
broken off with the leaves. 

The quality of the tea largely depends on the exact 
time of picking, as the choicest leaves may be changed 
into an inferior grade of tea on a single night if the 
exact proper time to pick them be neglected. The 
practice of picking the young leaf-buds just as they are 
beginning to unfold would also prove greatly injurious 
to the plants, were it not for the copious rains that fall 
during the season of picking, causing fresh leaves to 
sprout out and elaborate the sap necessary to constitute 
the further growth of the shrub. The weather also exerts 
a great influence upon the character of the tea, as, for 
instance, when the rains fall equably and a bright sun 
appears after heavy showers, the plants become thick and 
flourishing, the leaves bright green in color, elastic in 
texture and much richer in flavor. Whereas, when too 
much falls at one time, they become mildewed, broken 
and less flexible and limited, stunted and sapless when 
too little falls during the season of growth. 

The product of single plants vary so much that it is 
difficult to estimate the average quantity. A plant of 
three years' growth yielding only about 8 ounces of 
green leaves to a picking, equivalent to about 80 pounds 
per acre, while at five years' growth the same plant wlil 


produce five times that quantity, but the quality of the 
tea will not be near so good. One Chinese authority 
states that 2 catties, about 2 pounds, of green leaves are 
obtained from the more celebrated trees, but that the 
average quantity was between 10 taels and I cattie, or 
from i pound to 22 ounces annually, adding that a 
single mou (acre) of land contained from 300 to 400 
plants. From these varying statements it is evident that 
no definite amount can be fixed on as an average product 
per plant, per acre or per annum. The average collection 
for each picker is from 14 to 16 pounds of raw leaves 
per diem, the average wages varying from four to eight 
cents per day, according to the skill of the picker. 


As a general rule in China the small growers do not 
prepare the tea for market, simply curing them up to a 
certain point in which condition they dispose of it to the 
merchant or commission man, locally known as " tea- 
men/' who send agents into the country and who buy it 
in small quantities from the growers and carry it to hongs 
or warehouses established at different points in the tea 
districts. In this preliminary preparation the leaves 
when first collected by the grower are spread out in light 
layers on straw mats and exposed to the sun until they 
are thoroughly withered, when they are gathered up and 
placed on bamboo trays and triturated until a large por- 
tion of the sap or juice is pressed out. After this opera- 
tion they are again exposed to the sun and then dried 
in rattan cylinders, separated in the middle by a partition, 
covered on top, and underneath of which is a chafing 
vessel of ignited charcoal. The leaves when thrown into 


this concavity are constantly agitated until the process is 
completed, finishing the cultivator's work, the leaves 
being delivered to the merchant or factor in this state. 
The quantity for a " chop " or shipment being selected 
according to the quality of the leaf and the district pro- 
ducing it. The merchant or factor has them picked over 
by women and children to remove the stems and fibre 
which still remain attached to the young sprouts before 
completing its final preparation for the foreign market. 
The drying, buying and transporting of the leaves from 
the gardens to the hongs occupies considerable time, 
during most of which the but partially prepared tea is 
very much at the mercy of the elements. 

Tea leaves, when first picked, possess none of the color, 
odor or flavor of the tea of commerce, these properties 
being developed by the numerous processes to which 
they are subjected in the operation of curing and firing, 
and for which the Chinese have a long vocabulary of 
technical terms. The definition of which, as vouchsafed 
to the "outside barbarians," are intended more to 
mystify rather than elucidate the art. The operations 
of Tea manufacture may, however, be classified in the 
following sequence: Evaporating Fermenting Sun- 
ning Firing Rolling; each process having to be 
carried to a certain specific point, or if under or over- 
done, the leaf is spoiled and the tea correspondingly 

The partially withered leaves are packed in small cot- 
ton bags, loosely tied at mouth, and placed in open 
wooden troughs or boxes perforated at the sides with 
numerous holes, in which they are pressed and kneaded 
by the feet, to expel all superfluous moisture, the object 
being to extract all excess of tannin the principle to 
which tea owes its bitterness and astringency. If 


leaves be fermented without previously going through 
this process, the tea will be too pungent and bitter. 
The fluid driven out through the holes is of a green- 
ish, semi-viscid nature, the quantity expelled from the 
leaves being considerable. Properly evaporated, the 
leaves when pressed in the hand return to their regular 
shape, the stem bending double without breaking. 

The process of fermentation is accomplished by next 
emptying the leaves into bamboo baskets and covering 
them with cotton or felt mats, to cause a retention of 
heat and hasten the fermentive changes. Having been 
allowed to stand in this condition, the time requisite for 
this process, being learned only by experience, being more 
rapid in dry, warm weather than in cool and damp. If 
the leaves be allowed to remain in a heap after evaporat- 
ing, so that heating by natural fermentation should 
occur, the tea will be greatly injured. The process is 
stopped by emptying the leaves and spreading them 
out on large mats, exposed to the sun's rays. The effect 
of proper fermentation is to make the tea richer, smoother 
and more pleasing in flavor. Tea in this respect being 
like tobacco, which if dried over a fire when first cut, 
becomes so sharp and bitter as to sting the tongue. 

During the process of " sunning " the leaves are tossed 
up and turned over repeatedly, so that the whole may 
be diffused and thoroughly permeated by the sun. With 
bright sunshine one hour's exposure is sufficient, after 
which they are ready for the final processes of firing 
and curling. One of the results of the sunning process 
is to evaporate in a greater degree the properties that 
produce nervousness or wakefulness in the tea. 

As in the case of its botanical classification, much error 
and confusion for a long time existed with regard to the 
production of the varieties known to commerce as Green 


and Black teas. It was claimed at one time that the 
former were prepared exclusively from the species 
botanically termed Thea Viridis, and the latter came 
from Thea Bohea. It was also stated that the difference 
in color was due to a variation in the soil, climate and 
methods of cultivation, and again that Black teas were 
prepared only from plants grown on hilly sites, and Green 
teas solely from those cultivated on the plains in a soil 
enriched by manure. These botanical names and 
groundless conjectures have for a long time misled the 
public, later and more careful investigation fully dis- 
proving such erroneous impressions. But while it is now 
admitted that the greater portion of the respective com- 
mercial varieties known as Green and Black teas are pre- 
pared from the corresponding botanical species in their 
respective districts, it is more from custom, convenience 
or demand than from any other cause. The manu- 
facturers cater to the latter, the workmen also preferring 
to make that kind best with which they have the most 
experience. Chinese tea men now admitting that both 
kinds are prepared at the will or pleasure of the manu- 
facturers in the Black and Green tea districts. At Canton 
and other treaty ports in China it is an open secret that 
both varieties are prepared from either species according 
to the demand, the difference in color being entirely due 
to the different methods of preparation from the first 
stage. In the 


When the leaves are brought in from the gardens, 
they are spread out thinly on flat bamboo trays, where 
they are allowed to remain exposed from one to two 
hours, in order to evaporate any superfluous moistures, 


the time depending much on the state of the weather, 
after which they are removed to terraces or verandahs 
built expressly for the purpose of firing and curling, and 
containing from ten to twenty small furnaces about three 
feet high, each having at the top a series of shallow pans, 
termed Kuo, built into brick-work, low in front, but rising 
gradually at the sides and back, having a flue beneath 
and a fireplace at one end. The pans are heated to a 
certain degree by a charcoal fire made in the furnaces 
underneath. Charcoal being used exclusively for the 
purpose, as smoke of any kind would injure the flavor of 
the tea. A limited quantity of raw leaves are thrown 
into the Kuo at a time, rapidly moved about and shaken 
up with both hands until they become affected by the 
heat, making a cracking noise and give out considerable 
vapor, the freshest and juciest cracking first. 

The operators meantime continue to stir them rapidly 
as possible with their bare hands until they become too 
hot to be endured, the object being to expose them 
equally to the action of the heat, and at the same time 
prevent them from burning or scorching. When the 
heat becomes too intense they are lifted rapidly above 
the Kuo and allowed to fall gradually to cool them, any 
burned leaves being instantly removed. After being 
allowed to remain in this state from four to five minutes, 
during which they become moist and flaccid, they are 
quickly removed with a shovel resembling a fan and 
transferred to a long, low table made of split bamboo and 
covered with matting and surrounded by several Sat- 
hoos, who divide the leaves among them, each taking as 
many as he can hold in his hands, rolling them from left 
to right with a circular motion into the form of a ball, 
which is compressed and rolled upon the table, to rid 
them of any excess of sap or moisture, and at the same 


time curl or twist the leaves. During this process they 
are frequently shaken out and passed from hand to hand 
with a rapid motion, until they reach the head workman, 
who examines them carefully to see if they have attained 
the requisite twist, after which they are separated and 
spread out in bamboo trays until the remainder have 
undergone the same process. A second set of operatives 
now collect them and turn them over and over, toss and 
retoss them in the air to a considerable height, while a 
third keeps fanning them in order that they may cool 
more speedily and retain their curl longer, those contain- 
ing the most sap curling quickest, tightest and retaining 
it the longer. When the firing and curling operations are 
completed, the leaves are again exposed to the action 
of the air, so as to admit the passing away of the 
expressed moisture and at the same time impart a crisp 

When a sufficient quantity of leaves has been rolled 
they are again placed in the Kuos y under which a slow 
but steady charcoal fire has been kept burning and stirred 
with a rapid motion by the hands of the Saihoo until 
they become thoroughly dried and the green color per- 
manently fixed, that is, until there is no longer any dan- 
ger of them turning black. At this stage the leaves are 
of a dull-green color, becoming brighter as they cool, in 
which state they are termed by the Chinese Mao-cha or 
'* Cat tea." The next and last process consists of win- 
nowing or passing the leaves through sieves of varying 
sizes to free them from stems, dust and other extraneous 
matter, and separate them into the different kinds of 
Green Tea known to commerce. After which they are 
again refired, the coarser leaves once and the finer grades 
three to four times in order to bring out the color more 
fully and make them retain their curl longer. In the 



The leaves undergo the same process of evaporation 
and fermentation as with the green, but for a much longer 
period. They are spread out thinly on large mats and 
allowed to lie in this condition for at least twenty-four 
hours, after which they are gathered up and thrown in 
the air and allowed to fall back again in order to separate 
them. They are next turned and returned for a consid- 
erable time, being slightly beaten or patted with the 
hands meantime until they become soft and pliable, when 
they are again heaped and allowed to lay in this state for 
about an hour, and when examined, at the end of this 
time they are found to have undergone a slight change, 
becoming darker in color, moist and flaccid in texture 
and emitting a sweet, fragrant odor. At this stage they 
are placed in the Kuos and fired for about five minutes, 
rolled on bamboo tables and shaken out thinly on sieves 
placed outside the " hong " and exposed to the oxidiz- 
ing action of the atmosphere for about three hours, dur- 
ing which the operatives are employed in going over the 
sieves, turning and separating the leaves from each other. 

After the leaves have lost considerable sap and become 
correspondingly reduced in size they are next removed 
into the factory and placed a second time in the pans for 
three or four minutes, rolled as before and put into tubu- 
lar bamboo baskets, narrow in the middle and wide at 
both ends, and suspended over charcoal fires for from 
five to six minutes, during which they are carefully stirred 
and watched until they begin to assume a dark color, the 
operations of heating and twisting being repeated from 
three to four times, the heat being gradually reduced at 
each operation, and during which the operators make 
holes with their hands through the centre of the leaves 
in order to equally diffuse the heat and give vent to any 


smoke or vapor from the charcoal. They are then 
covered up, placed aside until they become perfectly dry 
and their black color firmly established, improving in 
appearance as they cool. When there is no longer any 
danger of their becoming green, the final processes of 
sifting, sorting and grading is performed at the conveni- 
ence of the workmen. 

With four Kuos and six Sai-hoos only from 400 to 
500 pounds of prepared tea can be cured in a single day, 
it requiring 400 pounds of raw leaves to produce 100 
pounds of cured tea. The leaves of the earlier pickings 
being smaller, more tender and juicy, the yield is cor- 
respondingly less, the leaves containing the most sap 
curling quickest, tightest and retaining it longer. 

It may here be observed in regard to the preparation 
of Green and Black teas that the leaves intended for con- 
version into the latter variety are allowed to lie exposed 
to the action of the sun and air for a considerably longer 
time than those of the former, that they are raked and 
tossed about until they become more soft and pliant, and 
that they are allowed to ferment longer before firing. 
And, again, that after firing and curling they are exposed 
to the oxydizing influence of the atmosphere in a moist 
state for hours previous to being fired a second time and 
finally dried in baskets over a slow fire. While the 
leaves intended for Green teas are immediately fired and 
curled after being picked, and dried as quickly as pos- 
sible after the rolling process has been completed. The 
differences in the methods of preparation are therefore 
most marked, and satisfactorily accounts for the differ- 
ence in their color, flavor and aroma, as well as for the 
effects nervousness and wakefulness produced in some 
constitutions by Green teas, due to the greater amount 
of sap contained in the leaves. 


But, for the at one time commonly-received opinion 
that the distinctive color of Green teas was imparted by 
curing in copper pans, there is not the slightest founda- 
tion in fact, since copper is never used for the purpose, 
repeated experiments by unerring tests having failed to 
find a single trace of that metal in any Green teas. 

Later investigations proving that the hue of Green 
teas is due as much to their manipulation as to the 
degree of heat at which they are fired. It has been 
found that at equal temperatures the leaves of both will 
turn black if allowed to lie as long before or during 
firing, the green color being retained only by the exces- 
sive motion, the latter tending to accelerate the power of 
evaporation of the juices, and which is further augmented 
by incessant fanning. 


The final grading of Green teas also differs from that 
of Black, there being two distinct styles or " makes" of 
the tea rolled and twisted. They are first separated 
and then sifted, in which operation four sieves are used, 
two to separate the small from the large round or rolled 
leaves, and two for the curled or twisted. After being 
sorted or separated they are again fired into deeper pans 
at a much higher temperature, and winnowed while hot 
in large circular bamboo trays, to free them from any 
remaining chaff or dust, the choicer grades being hand- 
picked previous to being sent to the Twa-tu^tia (Tea 
market), which is held in the nearest town or village to 
the district of production. The inferior grades are 
generally disposed of in an unassorted condition to the 
native factors or foreign merchants, who afterwards sort, 
grade and pack them fqr export. 


The grading or classing of Black teas for their first 
market is performed differently in the different districts. 
The most common custom, however, is to sort the dried 
leaves at the Hongs, according to their size, style and 
quality, by collecting them in heaps or large layers, and 
rake them down so as to mix them well together and 
make them uniform in grade and average cost ; the leaves 
being more often the product of different plantations, 
and even districts. The product of each plantation is 
brought by coolies in cotton bags or bamboo baskets to 
the tea market, and when disposed of are removed to the 
" Go-downs," or warehouses, situated in the adjacent 
villages, where the teas of a district are stored until they 
are disposed of to the native factors or foreign agents, 
who travel through the country in the interest of com- 
mission houses or merchants at the treaty ports, and by 
whom they are again fired, graded and winnowed to free 
them from any remaining impurities. When the orders are 
filled the teas are transported across the country on the 
shoulders of coolies, or sent down by river or canal in 
"junks" to the shipping ports, the time occupied in 
transit varying according to means, being usually from six 
to eight weeks. 

Previous to being packed for export in the lead-lined 
chests in which they are received in this country, the 
teas are again subjected to a still further firing, with the 
object of totally evaporating any moisture they may have 
absorbed in transit from the interior or by laying exposed 
in the storehouses, as well as to better fit them for the 
long sea voyage, after which the tea is weighed in 
" catties," and placed in the chests, the packer pressing 
it down with his hands. When another cattie is put 
in he steps on top, places his hands behind his back 
and throwing his head forward goes through a sort of a 


tread-mill dance, until the leaves are tightly compressed 
into the smallest possible compass. More tea is then put 
in and pressed down in the same manner until the chest 
is filled, when the leaden lid is put on and soldered, the 
chest being nailed, clamped, matted and rattaned later, 
numerous hands, men and women, being employed in its 
final packing. . 

Before matting a Chinese character termed a " Chop- 
mark " is placed on the side of each chest, ostensibly to 
denote the packer or picking, but although the same 
" crop " or brand is received year after year from the same 
shipper it does not necessarily follow that the grade or 
quality will be the same or even equal to that of the 
preceding ones. 

The term " chop " in Chinese means contract, and does 
not, as is claimed, refer to the crop or picking of any par- 
ticular garden or season. In trade it is applied to a quan- 
tity of tea frequently composed of the product of differ- 
ent gardens, or piens (localities) and even districts aver- 
aged or made uniform in the piens of the Twa-tu-tia 
by the factors before forwarding to the shipping ports. 
When a sufficient quantity of a certain specified grade 
has been secured from several growers to make up 
a chop, it is carried to a warehouse in the adjacent vil- 
lage, where it is all mixed together, averaged, refired and 
packed for the foreign market. The quantity for a chop 
being selected according to the quality of the leaf and 
the district producing it, and considering how chops are 
made up a few piculs from several gardens, often widely 
apart, they are wonderfully uniform in grade. Still, 
although year after year the same " chops " are received 
from the same shippers, it does not follow that the chops 
of one year or season will be as fine as those of the pre- 
ceding or of equal quality. It being by no means an 


unusual practice for the packers in the interior to leave 
the chests unmarked until they reach the shipper, who, 
knowing the chops must be in demand at that particular 
season in the consuming countries, supplies them to order, 
or, at least, not to use one of bad repute. 

The average cost of medium to fine grades of tea is 
40 taels (about $20) per picul (i33X pounds) laid down 
at the port of shipment is as follows at the present 
time: The refiring, packing, leading, chests, matting 
and rattaning varying from $3 to $4 per picul more. 


O I* A. 1 1^ I O A. OF X O P* 

as it occurs in commerce is the dried leaves 
of the tea-plant, and is generically classified as 
Green and Black under, which names it is best 
known to the public. Commercially, they are classed as 
China, Japan, India, Ceylon, and Java teas, but are again 
divided into numerous varieties and grades, having terms 
derived from the districts and localities of production, or 
indicative of age, form, or quality, from the delicate prod- 
uct of the young leaf-bud up to that of the large, old, 
and fully expanded leaf. These numerous appellations 
which distinguish the commercial qualities of tea being 
almost entirely of Chinese origin. 

Tea and China are almost synonymous terms. It is 
indisputably the " Land of tea." Its cultivation forms the 
chief industry of that country, and has been the largest 
contributor to the revenue of the government for centu- 
ries, its export being the principal feature of all her foreign 
dealings. The welfare of the inhabitants of her fairest 
provinces depend on its production. It has been in 
universal use among them from time immemorial, forming 
not only the regular beverage of the people, but also 
administering to the luxury of the epicure. They drink it 


at all times and under all circumstances from early morn- 
ing until late at night, in sickness or in health, working 
or playing, traveling or resting, all business being trans- 
acted there between two cups of tea. In brief, it is the 
natural beverage of the country constituting what wine 
is to the French, beer to the German and ale to the Eng- 
lish, and but without which no Chinese family could live 
or thrive. 

Considering all this, the claim under the circumstances 
that any other country is the " home of tea," as is 
attempted at the present time by some English writers, is 
about as futile and absurd as the endeavor to substitute 
Americus for Columbus, or Bacon for Shakespeare. And 
not only is China the original home of tea, but in addi- 
tion, China Tea is the only true tea, surpassing that of all 
other countries in every property and quality constituting 
and distinguishing tea, and possessing certain distinctive 
characteristics peculiar to and contained in no other variety 
grown or known. Yet while grown to a greater or less 
extent all over that vast empire, its cultivation for com- 
mercial purposes appears to be chiefly confined to the 
eastern provinces of Che-kiang, Kiang-see, Gan-hwuy 
and Fo-kien, some little also being produced for export 
in the western province of Sze-chuan. 

are produced principally in the provinces of Che-kiang, 
Gan-hwuy and Kiang-see, and are known to trade- as 
Sunglos, Moyunes, Hychows, Fychows, Tienkes, Ta'ysh- 
ings, Pingsueys, Cantons, and Country green teas, district 
terms and grading in the order named. These varieties 
being again subdivided into Gunpowders, Imperials, 
Hysons, Young Hysons, Hyson-Pekoes, and Hyson-Skin 
appellations denoting age, size, style, or form of make. 


Sunglo Famous in China at one time as the district 
where Green teas were first produced, and which were for 
centuries the finest grown in that country. Latterly, 
however, it has greatly declined as a tea-producing dis- 
trict, the quality also degenerating at the same time, much 
of that now sold as " true Sunglo " being only so in 
name. They are what is known to trade as " Hill " or 
high-district tea, natural green in color, exceedingly well 
made and prepared, yielding a rich, straw-colored liquor, 
clear and sparkling in the cup, fragrant and aromatic in 
flavor. The infused leaf is small, symmetrical and uni- 
form to a high degree, in fact almost perfect in shape, an 
invariable indication of youthfulness, fineness and tender- 

Mo- Yuen Known to trade as " Moyune," now pro- 
duces the bulk of the best Green teas received from 
China. Grown principally on the plains or lowlands 
adjacent to Sunglo from which fact they are sometimes 
termed " Garden teas " in contradistinction to the upland 
or " hill teas," and to which they are inferior in make, 
liquor, and flavor. They are of three kinds " Nankin," 
" Pakeong," and" Oochaine " so named from the " piens" 
or localities in which they are raised. 

Nankin Moyune Is the most valuable, intrinsically 
and commercially, being superior to the others in make, 
color, draw and drink. The dried leaf is firmly rolled 
or curled according to " make," rich, natural green in 
color, and extremely uniform in general appearance. The 
infusion of the finer grades is light golden in tint, brisk, 
and pungent in body, and possessing a flavor peculiar to 
itself, technically termed " toasty." It is deceptive in 
drink owing to its light color in the cup, the body being 
full and heavy, the infused leaf is small, but regular and 
well-shaped and of a light-green hue. 


Pakeong Differs from Nankin in many respects, 
though grown in the same district. The dry leaf is 
larger and more open, being what is termed 4< loosely 
made," duller in color and not as highly fired. The finer 
grades, however, yield a rich, ripe liquor, comparatively 
light in color and delicate in flavor, but lacking in that 
" toastiness " for which the former are so much admired. 

Oochaine Is a small leaf tea, generally darker in 
color, heavier in body and more pungent in flavor, but 
owing to its small size and imperfect preparation not as 
well appreciated as it deserves. 

Hy-chows Though raised in the adjoining district to 
Moyune are nevertheless much inferior to them in both 
leaf and liquor. The dry leaf, while firmly made and 
regular in form, silvery-green in color and considered 
attractive in appearance, is still very deceptive and lack- 
ing in cup qualities. The infusion, although darker in 
color and fairly pungent, is light in body and devoid of 
fragrance, the infused leaf being dark, coarse and 

Fy-chows Are bold and rough in general appear- 
ance, dull in color, dark and heavy in liquor, and some- 
what astringent in flavor, and on the whole an undesir- 
able sort. 

Tien-kes While large and coarse in make are 
pleasing in the hand, being chiefly sold on style, as they 
will not stand the cup test in comparison with Moyunes. 
The liquor is dark and thick, astringent and frequently 
" smoky " in flavor, due to the high firing in the effort to 
make them roll or curl tighter. 

Tai-pingS Like Tien-kes, look well in the hand, 
being fairly well-made and stylish-looking, but of a 
leaden-blue hue, the result of the " facing " or coloring- 
matter used in their preparation in order to enhance their 


appearance. The infusion is dark and muddy in the cup, 
flat and frequently "earthy" in taste, the infused leaf 
being large, coarse, dark and irregular. 

Pingsueys Termed by the Chinese Mien-pan-cha 
or " Bastard tea," possess no intrinsic value really 
as a tea, many experts contending that they are not 
even allied to the tea plant, but prepared from the 
leaves of some shrub remotely resembling it. The dry 
leaf is very stylish and firmly made, but of a leaden-blue 
color and " greasy " in appearance, gypsum and Prussian 
blue being extensively used in their manipulation. 
The liquor is dark and heavy, bitterly astringent and 
"brassy" or metallic in flavor, while the infused leaf 
is large, coarse and irregular in shape, dark-brown in 
color, and recognizable from its dissimilarity to the true 

Canton Called by the Chinese Tchaw-cha or " Lie- 
tea," is another spurious variety, manufactured in that 
city from " spent " or exhausted tea leaves, that is, from 
leaves once used and from which the vital properties 
have been extracted. They are made by first grinding 
and mixing them with a gluey compound to make them 
adhere, and then rolled into the form of Imperials and 
Gunpowders, as they cannot be curled or twisted, after 
which they are artificially colored or faced with a prepa- 
ration of Prussian blue, kaolin and tumeric. They are 
smoothly rolled and leaden-blue in color, having a 
peculiar greasy external appearance in the hand, due 
to the mineral matter used in their preparation. They 
do not possess a single physiological property of tea, 
yielding only a greenish viscid substance, dark and 
muddy in color, the so-called leaves disintegrating and 
settling in a pasty consistency at the bottom of the cup, 
the liquor being devoid of every semblance of tea. 


Country Greens Are uncultivated teas gathered in 
outlying districts, rough and uncouth in appearance, 
bitter and astringent in liquor, wild or " grassy " in flavor. 
The leaves when infurled are exceedingly large, rough 
and uncouth in the cups, having every appearance of a 
wild or uncultivated tea-leaf. 


Gunpowder Termed by the Chinese Choo-cha or 
" Pearl tea," so named from its small, round and "shotty " 
form. It is generally prepared from the smallest and 
youngest leaves of the tea plant, its quality correspond- 
ing to the picking and district of growth. The product 
of first crop is sometimes known as " Pinhead," from its 
extremely small, globular and granulated appearance. 
That prepared from the second crop is larger and not as 
hard rolled, while the third and fourth pickings are 
respectively still larger and more irregular in form, but, 
while darker and heavier in liquor, they are not near 
as delicate or fragrant in flavor. 

Imperial Derives its trade name from being the 
make or style of tea used in the Imperial household and 
the wealthier Chinese. That exported is prepared from 
the larger and older leaves of the respective pickings 
and rolled in the same manner as the former, from which 
fact it is sometimes called " Big Gunpowder" and " Pea-leaf." 
But while larger and bolder in make it possesses much 
the same drawing and drinking qualities, excepting that 
it is heavier and darker in liquor and not as delicate or 
aromatic in flavor. 

The true Imperial tea, known in China as " Flower tea," 
not because it is prepared from the flower or blossom of 
the tea-plant, as is erroneously supposed, but from its 
being considered the " perfection of tea." This variety 


is never exported owing to its limited production and being 
also very lightly fired in curing, it is very susceptible to 
moisture, the damp of a sea voyage tending to greatly 
impair its delicate properties. 

Young Hyson Is a corruption of the Chinese term, 
Yu-he-tsien or " Early spring," from being picked early in 
the season. In make the leaves of the finer grades are 
extremely small, firmly, if not artistically twisted, and 
almost wiry in texture, being prepared from the 
youngest and tenderest leaves just expanding. The 
leaves of the later pickings are correspondingly larger 
and looser in make and appearance, and relatively 
inferior in drawing and drinking qualities to the earlier 

Hyson Known to the Chinese as He-tsien, " Flour- 
ishing spring," from being gathered in the full spring- 
time is a large, loosely-curled leaf, prepared from the 
older leaves of the respective pickings which can- 
not from their size and lack of succulence be either 
rolled or curled. They bear the same relation to 
Young Hysons that Imperials do to Gunpowder, and 
preserving the same characteristics in a relatively minor 

Hyson-Pekoe Called by the Chinese "Loung-tsien " 
literally " Tea-of-the-wells-of-the-Dragon," a term used to 
describe an exceedingly rare, peculiar and expensive 
variety of green tea, which, owing to its extreme tender- 
ness and delicacy and very light firing is never exported. 
It has a small, evenly-curled leaf, rich, natural green in 
color, with whitish, downy or silvery ends. The infusion 
is of a pale or light-golden yellow tinge, clear and spark- 
ling as champagne in the cups and possessing what the 
connoisseur would term a simply exquisite aroma or 
" bouquet." 


Hyson-Skin Termed by the Chinese Twankay or 
" Refuse tea," is composed of the largest and oldest 
leaves, screenings or " fannings " of the foregoing varie- 
ties, that cannot, owing to their coarse or broken condi- 
tion, be rolled or curled. It is large, loose and flat in 
appearance, varying in color, liquor and flavor according 
to the grade from which it is separated in screening. 
Many of them, however, draw and drink exceedingly 
well, making very useful teas for blending purposes. 

comprise Oolongs, Congous, Souchongs and Scented 
teas, and are principally produced in the south-eastern 
provinces of Fo-kien and Kiang-nan. 


The term Oolong is derived from the Chinese word 
Ou-loung, signifying " Green dragon," and is applied 
to a variety of tea having a small greenish-yellow leaf 
permeating through it. They are divided into six dif- 
ferent kinds Amoys, Foochows, Formosas, Ankois, 
Saryune, Padrae and Pekoe-Oolong teas, possessing as 
many distinct flavors and characters caused by the varia- 
tions in soil, climate and mode of preparation. 

Amoy Oolongs Are divided into Kokews, Mohea 
and Ningyong from the localities where grown, and differ 
much in size, style and character. 

Kokew Is a large, dark, coarse-leaf tea, rough and 
unsightly in the hand, but pungent and " grippy " in the 
cup. The poorer grades possess a wild or " herby " 
flavor a quality, strange to say, appreciated by some 
few tea-drinkers, but strongly objected to by the majority 
of consumers. 


Mohea Is a large, light and somewhat "chaffy" 
leaf tea, light-colored and light-bodied in the cup, but 
withal smooth and pleasant in flavor. But, although 
lacking in strength, it is a serviceable tea for blending pur- 
poses, particularly in combination with a heavy Congou 
or Assam, in the proportion of one of the latter to four 
parts Mohea, being too thin when used alone. 

Ning-yongs Are light in weight, greenish-yellow in 
color and stylish-looking in the hand, though not well 
made or twisted. They are also very pleasing in the 
cup, possessing a sort of " hickory-nut " flavor for which 
they are much admired, but are thin in body and lacking 
in " snap." It is contended by some experts that if this 
variety were converted into a green tea it would rank 
with a light drawing Moyune in drinking qualities. 

Amoy at one time was the greatest Tea mart in the 
world, exporting as much as 500,000 half-chests per 
annum, but which has now fallen to less than 50,000, due 
in part to careless cultivation and indifferent curing. The 
lower grades are stemmy, dusty and frequently adul- 
terated with spurious or exhausted leaves. Many of the 
finer grades, however, still turn out splendidly in the 
cup, rivalling the lower grades of Foochow and For- 
mosa, being frequently faced and sold for the latter when 
these grades are scarce or high. It does not require an 
expert, however, to detect the substitution, as they are 
totally devoid of the fragrant and " nosey " flavor that so 
distinguish the latter. 

Foo-chow Oolongs Are produced in the province 
of Fo-kien, and are, without exception, the truest and 
finest variety of the genus tea grown in any country, 
China not excepted. They are usually put up in " chops," 
quantities bearing the brand or chop-mark of the grower 
or packer, which are again divided. " Lines," termed in 


trade, "Firsts," "Seconds," "Thirds," "Fourths," and 
sometimes " Fifths," denoting the various pickings and 
grading in the order named. 

The dried leaf of the " Firsts " or finer grades is black and 
almost " silky " in texture, exceedingly well twisted and 
crispy, but not brittle, yielding rather than breaking 
when pressed in the hand. While the infusion is dark- 
golden in color, rich, round and full bodied, very mellow 
and fragrant ia flavor, the infused leaf medium in size, 
very regular in form and of a rich brown color. 

The " Seconds " are somewhat larger in leaf, looser in 
make, not being quite as finely or evenly twisted but 
possessing excellent " cup qualities," being the favorite 
with consumers who prefer full body, to delicate flavor. 
The " Thirds " are still looser in make, bolder in style 
and darker in liquor, heavier in body, and though not 
near as high or fragrant in flavor are, nevertheless useful 
and serviceable, particularly when they are composed of 
what is known as " high district teas." 

The "Fourths and Fifths," when there are any, are 
correspondingly inferior in quality, the dried leaf of the 
latter being especially large, coarse and rough in 
appearance, brittle and chaffy in the hand, and frequently 
dusty or stemmy, dark in draw but thin in body, lacking 
in flavor, deteriorating rapidly after infusion, and devoid 
of the high character that so distinguishes the former 
grades of this variety. The principal "chops" now 
known to trade comprise the " Tong-mow," " Tong-lee," 
" Tong-shing," " Chun-fah," " Chun-fat," " Sun-kee," 
" Cheong-kee," " Com-wo " and " Com-wo-kut chops." 

Formosa Oolongs Also known to trade as " Tam- 
suis," from being shipped from that port, are unique in leaf, 
and flavor differing widely in character, possessing a rich, 
natural bouquet entirely unknown to any other variety. 


The dried leaf is dark greenish-yellow in color, evenly 
and artistically curled, crisp and " crapy " in texture, 
small, shapely, uniform, and green when infused, gener- 
ally " tipped " with a brownish edge, the result of fer- 
mentation. The liquor is bright, clear, and golden in 
the cup, body round and mellow, ripe and rich and 
aromatic in flavor. A really choice Formosa tea when 
drawn will fill a room with a delightful aroma peculiar to 
itself, difficult to describe, but variously pronounced as 
"jessamine," "cowslip" or "primrose" odor, but still 
totally unlike that of any other plant or flower in the 
vegetable kingdom, having a " Formosa flavor " pure and 
simple, attributed to the soil, and absorbed by the plants 
during growth, and to preserve which it has to be con- 
tinually cultivated in new places. Unlike other varieties 
the later pickings of Formosa teas are heavier and 
stronger than the earlier gatherings ; though sweet and 
fragrant, are light-bodied and evanescent. The medium 
and lower grades are dark-brown in color, somewhat 
rough in style, not being as well cured or curled as the 
finer sorts. The infusion is also darker in draw, fuller in 
body, but not near as fragrant or aromatic in flavor, the 
finer grades improving as it cools, the former deteriorating 
under the same circumstances and revealing a slightly 
" herby " taste. 

Formosa Oolongs are cultivated by native farmers 
who have small gardens, some of whom do not raise 
over one hundred pounds at a picking, but have from 
three to five pickings in a season. Unlike other varieties, 
the first picking of Formosa is the poorest, the second 
crop being better and the last or autumn crop is best of 
all. This inversion is due to climatic causes, the island 
being visited with heavy rains during August, after which 
the warm weather of September causes the plant to grow 


luxuriantly, filling the leaf with sap, added to which the 
moisture of the atmosphere causes the leaves to ferment 
quickly during the process of curing, allowing the 
manufacturers to cure the leaf without exposing it to the 
sun. The great strength of the leaf enables the manu- 
facturer to fire the leaves longer ; the longer they are 
fired the longer they will keep, the third crop, or 
" Autumn teas," that have been well-fired improving 
with time after exposure to the air, the action of the 
atmosphere bringing out the fragrance of the tea, the 
toasty flavor at the same time disappearing. 

Ankoi-Oolongs Are a doubtful species of the genus 
tea, said to be prepared from the leaves of a shrub closely 
resembling yet widely distinct in structure and charac- 
ter from those of the true plant, found growing in a wild 
state on the range of mountains known as the Anke 
hills, separating the district of Amoy from Foo-chow. 
The leaf, in a dried state, is rough, coarse and reddish- 
brown in color, poorly curled and ragged in general 
appearance. In the infusion it is dark-brown, large and 
irregular in form, notably dissimilar from that of a gen- 
uine tea-leaf in all respects, while the liquor is dark-red, 
oily or " earthy," and bitterly astringent to the taste, qual- 
ities contracted from the presence of oxides in the soil 
in which they grow. Intrinsically, this variety possesses 
no value really as tea, bearing the same relation to 
Oolongs that Pingsueys do to Green teas, and although 
known to the Chinese as " Bastard tea," it is extensively 
used by them in the reduction of Amoys, to which it 
imparts a wild, rank or weedy flavor readily detected in 
the cup. 

Padrae-Oolong Is a scarce sort prepared in the 
Bohea district from a species that is unsuited for 
conversion into plain Oolong. The leaf is long, black, 


flattish, but finely made, after the manner of a Souchong, 
and closely approximating to the latter in color, liquor 
and flavor. They are chiefly exported to the Russian 
market, where they are much esteemed for their unique 
but superb drinking qualities. 

Pekoe-Oolongs Are what is known to trade as a 
" Made tea," that is, prepared from leaves which, from 
their nature or quality, cannot be converted into an 
Oolong or Green tea, or from leaves spoiled by imperfect 
fermentation, smoke or fire in curing, flavored or scented 
with Pekoe in order to disguise or conceal their defects. 
The dried leaf is generally long, flat and very black, 
being over-fired, while the liquor is dark-wine color, 
sharp, pungent, but burnt to the taste, and approaching 
to that of Tienke green in flavor. 

Saryune Is a bold, dark-leaved variety, rather 
loosely made and curled. The liquor is heavy, dark, 
rich and pungent, brisk, but somewhat burnt in flavor, 
the result of too high firing. The infused leaf is medium 
in size, regular in form, dark -brown in color, with darker 
edges, approximating to that of a Congou leaf in color 
and style. 


known to trade in this country as " English Breakfast 
teas," from having at one time formed the staple shipment 
to that country, are produced in the province of Kiang- 
see, and are a distinct variety, differing in color, liquor 
and flavor from the Oolong sorts. They are cultivated 
chiefly on the .#<?#-/# (Bohea) mountains, in the district of 
Woo-e-shan, which, though very sterile in some parts, are 
literally covered with tea plantations. More of these 
varieties are produced than of all others combined, the 
product of the Pa-ta-shan range being classed among the 
finest grown. 



The term Congou is a corruption of the Chinese term 
Kowng-foo, meaning "laborious" or "assiduous sort," more 
time and labor being expended on their manipulation than 
on the other varieties, and are commercially divided into 
Kaisows or " Red-leaf" and Monings or " Black-leaf 
Congou teas." 




include Chingwos, Seumoo, Suey-kut, Sin-chune, 
Saryune, Cheong-soo, Cheong-lok, Cheong-syke, So-how, 
Yung-how, Wang-hung and Yung-tong Congou teas. 

Chingwos Are the finest of all the red-leaf sorts, 
particularly when the crop is good ; the dry leaf is well 
curled or twisted, keeping well up to a certain point and 
improving as it matures. The lower grades, however, 
deteriorate very rapidly, and in proportion to the openness 
or looseness of the leaf on arrival. Its special feature is 
its delicate and, to a degree, fragrant flavor which it 
imparts to other teas in combination, provided the other 
teas are not too strong and coarse. The liquor is not, as 
a rule, very dark, but reddish in hue, and possessing a 
round, mellow flavor, for which it is more esteemed than 
for its body or color in the cup. 

Seumoo Is a long, bold, somewhat rough-leaved tea, 
dark-red in color and "coarse" in flavor. The finer 
grades are, however, fairly thick and strong in liquor, 
many of them although round and full are frequently 
dull and flavorless, but combining well with strong 
Assams. Seumoos make an excellent base when com- 
bined with the latter, the pungency of the Assam impart- 
ing the briskness and body which it lacks when used 


Suey-kut Is a brisk but mostly burnt variety, being 
as a rule, too highly fired. The dry leaf of the first 
pickings is evenly twisted, black and stylish in the hand, 
its strength and flavor is but average, and quality gener- 
ally only fair in the cup. The commoner grades, though 
usually well-made and pleasing in appearance, are fre- 
quently stemmy or dusty. 

Sin-chune Is neither a large or greatly valued 
sort, the dry leaf being loose in make, mixed and ragged 
in appearance, and objectionably dusty, while the liquor 
is hard and dry to dullness, lacking both in flavor and 

Saryune Is the reddest of the Red-leaf teas, and 
while one of the most serviceable of this variety, is not a 
fine sort by any means, though often ripe and juicy. The 
liquor is almost invariably strong and brisk, but burnt in 
flavor, the result of too high firing, and with the excep- 
tion of a few of the finer grades the leaf is rarely well 
curled, being generally open, red and rough in appear- 
ance, the second and third crops being usually very dusty 
or stemmy. 

Cbeong-SOO Is a scarce sort, varying in quantity and 
quality from year to year, but quite a desirable one, 
particularly when the crop is good ; but fine Cheong-soos 
are rarely seen in this market. 

Cheong-lok Is a tea of negative character, the 
liquor possessing little or no strength and the leaf 
having a rough, red, unsightly appearance in the hand. 

Cheong-syke Is also best described by negatives, the 
dry leaf being dark-brown and coarse, the liquor lacking 
the strength of Sin-chune and the briskness of Saryune. 

So-how Is small and well made in leaf, dark, but rich 
in liquor, and smooth and mellow in flavor for this variety 
of tea. 


Yung-how Closely approaches Suey-kut in appear- 
ance, drawing and drinking qualities, but is less burnt 
in taste and rather stronger, and more flavory in the 

Wang-hung and Yung-tong Are both high-fired, 
brisk, but burnt varieties, dark-red in leaf and liquor, and 
not, as a general rule, either useful or valuable sorts to 
the dealer. 




comprise Ning-chows, Oonfas, Oopacks, Oonams, 
Kin-tucks, Kee-muns, Kiu-kiangs, -Panyong, Hapyong, 
Paklin and Paklums, and constitute the true Black teas 
of China. 

Ning-chow Is a small, evenly-curled leaf, greyish- 
black in color and very stylish in general appearance, 
the finer grades being " Pekoe-tipped " and flavored. The 
infusion is dark red or wine-colored but delicate and 
aromatic, more so than that of any tea of this variety, 
while the infused leaf is small, tender, symmetrical and of 
a bright brown or reddish tendency. The lower grades 
are fairly thick and strong, making a useful tea for the re- 
tailer, as they keep well and combine advantageously with 
most other varieties, less regular and uniform, browner 
and given to " choppiness " and dust. The liquor, 
though of good color, is not as clear and bright, the 
infused leaf being more markedly red than that of the 
former sorts. The medium and lower grades are fairly 
thick in the cup ; but have a tendency to become over- 
ripe, and while not keeping, still blend well with a 
pungent Assam or light-bodied Oolong tea. 

Oonfa While not as finely twisted or as handsome 
as Ning-chow, is still the next most important of the 


Black-leaf Congous. The dried leaf of the finer grades 
is bold in make, yielding a dark, heavy liquor, lacking in 
fragrance, but proving a desirable sort where body and 
strength is required. The medium grades are rough and 
open, the liquor, though mostly strong, is often "tarry," 
and frequently sour when kept too long, while the lower 
grades are thin in body and coarse in flavor, having 
nothing to recommend them but their leaf, which is 
generally free from dust. 

Oopack Grown on the banks of the Yang Tse, a 
little above Hankow, is a " crapy" black leaf tea, evenly 
curled, but somewhat bold in style. When freshly fired 
they are flavory and aromatic, but become dull and 
"brassy" as the firing wears off, for which reason it is 
not a good tea to keep. If used quick, however, it 
blends well with broken Assam, when thick and heavy, 
the commoner grades being fairly smooth and sweet in 
the cup, though coarse and rough in the hand. 

Oonams Are a class of tea somewhat resembling 
Oopacks in style and draw, but preferable to the latter 
approximating closer to Ning-chow in flavor. The dry- 
leaf is also more evenly twisted, smaller and greyer and 
the infusion fuller and stronger. 

Kin-tuck Is comparatively a new variety, but is 
rapidly becoming one of the most important of the 
Congou sorts, the quality of the choicer grades being 
especially good, rivalling the finest Ning-chows, particu- 
larly when the crop is good. 

Kee-mun Is another of the newest descriptions of 
China Congou teas, possessing many of the characteristics 
of Kin-tuck, to which it is closely allied. The dried leaf 
varies considerably in style and appearance, some lots 
having an evenly-curled and handsome leaf, while others 
again are brownish and irregular; some of the earlier 


pickings possess a peculiar flavor termed " chocolate," 
for which they are much prized. 

Kiu-kiang Comes from Hohow, one of the most 
northern of the Moning districts, the quality of the finest 
first pickings being simply superb. The dry leaf, 
is black, uniform and free from dust, while the infused 
leaf is bright-brown and very regular ; but, with all these 
advantages, they are lacking in strength or " snap " and 
consequently are not of such value as their character on 
first appearance would seem to indicate. They 
deteriorate very rapidly, more so than any other of this 
variety, and while the medium grades are a little fuller in 
body, from the highest to the lowest the same want of 
strength is found. 

Panyong Is an exceedingly black, " silky " and 
stylish leaf tea, rich, strong and mellow in the cup. The 
finer grades corresponding in value and quality with those 
of the same grades of Ning-chow, for which kind it may 
be freely substituted in any emergency. 

Hapyongs Are medium in size, fairly made and 
pleasing in the hand, heavy, dark, smooth and fragrant 
in the cup. While the infused leaf is dark, regular and 
uniform, it is liable to be coarse and dark. 

Faklin Is a large and important variety, not very 
dissimilar to Ning-chow, but lacking in that roundness 
and delicacy in the cup, for which the latter is so highly 
valued. The dry-leaf of the finer grades is smaller, 
more evenly twisted, and blacker than that of any other 
grown in China. The infused leaf is bright-red, regu- 
lar and tender; the liquor is dark-red, and though 
lacking in fulness the general cup qualities of the infusion 
is of a very superior order. 

Paklum While fuller and rounder in body than 
Paklin, yields a sweet and pleasant liquor, but is inferior 


to that of the latter variety in flavor and aroma. The 
dried leaf is also very black, fairly made and often 
" tippy " in the hand. 

Some Congou teas are also produced in other districts 
of China, being known to trade as Amoy, Ankoi, Qui-fa, 
Padrae, Pekoe and Canton Congou teas. 

Amoy CongOU Known to trade also as " Swat-how," 
is invariably burnt in flavor, but when the crop is good, 
is brisk and strong in the cup. The dry-leaf being coarse 
and loosely folded, they deteriorate very rapidly, be- 
coming wild or " weedy " in flavor as they mature. 

Qui-fa Is a " tarry " tea, allied to Amoy, but more 
evenly curled and blacker in color. The liquor is 
strong and brisk, and not quite as rank or bitter as that 
of the former. The infused leaf is very coarse and 
irregular in form, often broken and very dark in color. 

Ankoi Congou. The difference between Ankoi and 
Amoy Congou is not very wide, the former being ranker, 
if anything. They are generally rougher in make, dull- 
black in color, thick and muddy in the cup, bitter and 
astringent in flavor, more particularly the commoner 
grades, which are in addition broken, stemmy and dusty. 

Fadrae-CongOU Is a strong, high-fired tea, large 
in leaf, black and " crispy " in style, and useful only for 
its great strength and pungency in the cup. The lower 
grades are frequently " soapy " or " mousey " in flavor, 
and invariably dusty, 

Pekoe-CongOU Approximates closest to Chingwo 
in make and general appearance, but are more artistically 
twisted and darker in color and " Pekoe-tipped," the 
flavor being sacrificed to style and finish. The infused 
leaf is medium sized, regularly formed and reddish in 
color, while the liquor is fairly rich, fragrant and pekoe- 
flavored to a high degree. 


Canton GongOUS Are principally manufactured teas, 
being composed of exhausted leaves, re-fired and faced 
with plumbago, or other coloring-matter, and do not 
contain the semblance of tea in the cup. 

Campoi A corruption of the Chinese term Chien-pei, 
or " Kampoey," meaning " selected for firing ; " is a par- 
ticular variety of Congou, smaller in leaf, darker in color 
and much better curled, but not as dark in the infusion. 
It possesses a more delicate flavor, is not as strong in body, 
and being limited in quantity, but little is ever exported. 

Bohea Is a term applied in China to a sort composed 
of old, broken and inferior leaves, and the refuse of the 
Congou kinds. It was formerly largely exported to 
England, but is now retained chiefly for home consump- 
tion, from its cheapness, by the poorer Chinese. 


comprise " Hoyunes," " Tayshans," " Cantons," " Macaos," 
and many others new to commerce. The finer Hoyunes 
are a brownish-grey leaf tea, varying in length and curl, 
the finer grades of which are round and pungent, yielding 
a deep-red liquor and bright-brown infused leaf. The 
lower grades, however, are rough and irregular in make, 
brownish in color and dull and harsh in flavor. Tay- 
shans and Macaos are among the newest makes of Con- 
gous lately introduced, the former being prepared in imi- 
tation of Moning and the latter of a Kaisow. Many of 
the new makes, while flavory, are lacking in strength ; 
others again are strong almost to rankness. " Ho-how " 
is the commonest of these descriptions of Congous, the 
leaf being large and ragged and form " earthy," and may 
be termed the " Pingsuey " of this variety. There is 
still another called " Kut-oan," recently prepared as an 
experiment from the leaf of a Green tea plant grown in 


the Nankin district and said to be equal in every respect 
to the finest Kaisow in leaf, liquor and flavor. 


are among the finest and richest of the Black tea sorts, 
being known to the Chinese as Saou-cheong, " Little," or 
" scarce sort," and are limited in supply. They are chiefly 
prepared from the youngest leaves of the earliest pickings, 
gathered only in the finest weather, and dried in the shade 
to protect them from the direct rays of the sun. The dry 
leaf is longer but thinner than that of the Congou sorts ; 
folded rather than curled or twisted, but possessing 
somewhat similar drinking qualities. They are classed 
in trade as Lapsing, Tong-quam, Padrae, Pekoe, Oolong, 
and Canton Souchongs. 

Lapsing Prepared in the district of Foo-chow, is 
also known to trade as " Foo-chow-Souchong," is a 
large, handsome, crapy leaf, finely made and lightly fired, 
possessing a rich, wine-colored liquor with fragrant flavor, 
entirely peculiar to itself, described as " tarry flavor," 
which when not too pronounced adds rather than detracts 
from its worth. The product of the later pickings are of 
less strength and flavor, but are still very smooth and 
pleasant in liquor and flavor, and generally shipped to 
the Russian market, where they are held in high esteem 
for their intrinsic qualities. 

Oolong-Souchong Is another variety of the forego- 
ing, prepared from the leaves of a plant that cannot well 
be made into either sort, the greatest care being taken in its 
manipulation. It is stylish in leaf, closely approximating 
to Foo-chow Oolong in the dried state, very clear, rich 
and translucent in the infusion, but though light in 
weight and color is yet very deceptive, being full of snap 
and sparkle, fragrant and aromatic. 


Tong-quam Is a long, flat, black-leaf Souchong tea 
carefully folded, but little understood by the general 
trade, owing to the liquor possessing nearly the same 
flavor and pungency as that of a Red-leaf Congou, 
usually more round and fuller, the dry leaf being slightly 
bolder and blacker in appearance. 

Padrae-Souchong Is a jet-black leaf, small and 
" crapy " in texture, usually prepared from the youngest 
and tenderest leaves of the Congou order, and which it 
closely resembles in general character and flavor. The 
dry leaf is, however, much smaller, flatter and darker, but 
greatly excelling them in the delicacy and fragrance of 
the infusion. 

Pekoe-Souchong Is prepared from the leaves that 
have developed too much to be converted into the former 
kind, which is small in size. The dry leaf is medium- 
sized, very black and moderately " tipped " at the ends 
with a whitish-downy substance termed " pekoe." In 
liquor they are strong, dark, pungent and fragrant in 
flavor and aroma. 

Canton Souchongs Are prepared from old and 
exhausted leaves collected in a careless manner, exposed 
in the sun to dry, and packed in baskets until they reach 
that city, where they are refired, colored and scented in 
order to disguise their bitter, rank and astringent 


form a special class of the Chinese product comprising 
Capers, Pekoes and Pouchong teas, being known to trade 
as Foochows, Cantons and Macaos. 

Caper Known to the Chinese as He-choo-cha, 
" Black pearl," or Gunpowder, from its small, round or 
spherical appearance, resembling capers. It is prepared 
from the largest but most succulent leaves of the first 


pickings, and cured by a series of brisk firings and rollings, 
after which it is placed in moulds, in order to make it 
retain its globular shape. The dried leaf is small, found 
and "shotty" in appearance, reddish-black in color, 
glossy and highly scented. The infusion is wine-colored, 
piquant and aromatic, possessing what is technically 
termed a rich " bouquet," the infused leaf, when uncurled, 
being very symmetrical in form and dark-brown in color. 

Pekoes From the Chinese Pai-ko, or Pak-ho t signi- 
fying " white down," is applied to a variety of tea having 
a whitish downy or " silvery " tip at the end of the leaves. 
It is usually prepared from the youngest and tenderest 
leaf-buds first expanding, and was at one time claimed to 
be composed of the flower or blossom of the tea plant, 
hence its French name, " fleur de the" an error long since 
corrected, as the tea blossom possesses none of the 
properties of the leaf, though frequently used for scenting 

Orange-Pekoe Recognized by its long, flat, even 
and artistically folded leaf, jet-black color, and yellowish 
downy tips at the ends. It is highly scented, yielding a 
rich wine-colored liquor, piquant, pungent and aromatic 
in the cup, the infused leaf being small, bright and closely 
resembling that of choicest Oolong variety. 

Flowery-Pekoe Is a smaller but more evenly folded 
leaf, greenish-black or olive-colored, with ends orna- 
mented by whitish, " velvety " tips, being also very highly 
scented. The infusion is lighter in color and body but 
piquant and aromatic in flavor, the infused leaf small, 
dark and perfectly formed. 

Hung-muey Is still another variety of Pekoe 
rarely exported, having a plain black leaf lightly tipped 
and lightly scented, and yielding an infusion dark in color, 
thin in body, but very fragrant and aromatic in flavor. 


Pouehong Derives its trade name from Paou-cheong, 
meaning " wrapped sort." The leaf is rough and bold 
in style, dull-black in color and peculiar in scent. The 
latter being imparted by the admixture of the seeds of 
the Lan-hoa, or Chulan flower, the finer grades of which 
are deep red, rich and pleasing, but the lower ones are 
often abominable. 

Pouchong-Pekoe Is usually prepared from the 
undeveloped leaves or just expanding buds of the tea 
plant, and is a small, glossy-black leaf with yellowish- 
golden tips, yielding an intensely rich liquor very piquant 
and highly aromatic in flavor. 

Padrae-Pouchong Is a medium-sized leaf, exceed- 
ingly black in color and well folded. The liquor is dark, 
full, round and aromatic in flavor, but light and thin in 

Canton Scented Teas Known to trade as Congee 
" Lie " or " made teas," to a large extent being purchased 
in the natural state, converted into Capers and Pekoes at 
will, and doctored or scented up to a certain standard by 
contract. They are much higher scented than Foochows, 
but lacking in the properties of true tea, less pungent in 
liquor and devoid of character or flavor. 

Macao Scented Teas Known also as " New district," 
are closely allied to Cantons in make, appearance and char- 
acter of scent. The dry leaf is somewhat larger and 
darker in color, the flavor being dull and peculiar in the 

The fragrance of Scented teas is not, as is generally 
supposed, natural to them, but imparted by the admix- 
ture of the flowers, blossoms, leaves, or oils extracted from 
the seeds or roots of other plants, such as the Orange, 
Jessamine, Chlorantus, Gardenia, and Oleo-fragrans. The 
leaves and blossoms of the Iris, Curcunia, and oil of Bixa 


orelana being also extensively used. In some districts 
the scenting material is added to the tea during the 
firing process, and afterwards separated by sifting. It is, 
however, more generally introduced into the tea after it 
is prepared and ready for packing ; one pound of leaves 
or blossoms being the usual proportion to each hundred 
pounds of tea. They are spread over the top of the tea 
in the chest and allowed to remain for at least a day, or 
until it becomes strongly impregnated by absorbing their 
moisture, and then removed, the duration depending on 
the character of the scenting employed, the scent increas- 
ing after the tea is packed for export. But though 
scenting in general is supposed to be confined to the 
choicer grades of tea it is as often applied to the inferior 
sorts, with the object of disguising or concealing their 
defective or damaged condition, and imparting a pleasant 
odor, a much larger quantity being used in the latter. 
The scenting greatly modifies and improves the flavor, 
however, without adding any pernicious or deleterious 
substance to the tea. 

Consumers not accustomed to using these varieties 
erroneously imagine, from the dark color of the leaf and 
liquor, that they are much stronger and more exciting 
than that of the Oolong or Green tea sorts. While the 
contrary is the case, it requiring one-third more leaf of 
corresponding quality to yield an infusion of equal 
strength than of Oolong or Green tea sorts. The " smoky " 
and "tarry" flavors possessed by many of them, and for 
which this variety is so remarkable, is due in a great 
measure to the use of ill-made charcoal in firing and the 
use of soft woods containing tar or pitch, such as fir and 
pine, in its preparation. The worst feature about which 
is that this " smokiness " and " tarriness " does not 
develop until long after the teas have left China, and 


are offered for sale. It is also a noticeable fact that 
certain waters serve to bring out these peculiarities 
more prominently than others, American waters in 


Besides these numerous ordinary teas of commerce, 
there are several other varieties cultivated in China, but 
principally for home consumption and rarely if ever 
exported, among which may be mentioned : 

Suen-cha Or " Sweet tea," made from the leaves of 
a slender shrub growing in the western province of Sze- 
chuan, and peculiar only to that section. The leaf is 
large, thick and odorless in the green or natural state, 
but when cured exhales a rare and peculiar odor, and 
possesses a sweet, liquorice-like taste in the infusion, not 
altogether pleasant. 

Peh-Yuen-cha Or "White cloud tea," prepared 
from another rare species of the tea shrub found near the 
summit of Mount Ombei in the same province and most 
dissimilar in character and flavor from that of the regular 
teas of commerce. It yields an aromatic infusion, 
peculiar but palatable, and is chiefly used by pilgrims and 
travelers in that country. 

Mandarin Tea Is still another rare variety, seldom 
if ever exported, its use being confined to the Mandarins 
and aristocracy of China. The leaf is exceeding small, 
dark, crisp and tender, lightly fired and highly scented > 
commanding as high as fifteen dollars per pound in the 
home market. 

Brick Tea Is composed of the old leaves, stems, 
siftings and sweepings of the Chinese tea hongs, ground 
fine, moistened and compressed into shapes somewhat 
larger than regular building bricks. It has nothing to 
recommend it as a tea, being sold chiefly to the Mongols, 


Tartars and other tribes of Central Asia, among whom 
it also serves as a currency. 

Tablet Tea Is a " new make " of tea recently intro- 
duced in China, appearing for the first time in the trade 
returns last year. It is prepared by machinery from the 
best quality of tea-dust, formed by pressure alone into 
small cakes in the form of tablets perfectly hard and 
solid, resembling chocolate in make and appearance. It 
is not, like " brick tea," moistened by steam before being 
compressed, and the flavor is not in any way impaired by 
the process of manufacture. One of the chief advantages 
claimed for this form of tea is that, being subjected to 
heavy hydraulic pressure, all the cells are broken and 
the properties of the tea are more easily and com- 
pletely extracted by the boiling water, thus effecting a 
considerable saving in the quantity required for a given 
amount of the beverage. Its principal market is Russia, 
which took from China last year over 500,000 pounds 
in the form of tablets. 

Medicine Tea Is prepared from the coarse leaves 
and stems of the ordinary tea plant, ground and mixed 
with medicinal herbs, packed in bundles and used for 
medicinal purposes among Asiatic tribes. 

Log-tea Is also prepared from the ordinary teas of 
commerce. It is a very inferior grade, prepared from the 
stalks, packed in the shape of logs, weighing from 8 to 10 
pounds, and wrapped in the leaves of the bambusa, and 
packed in this manner from motives of economy and 

The total production of tea in China is unknown, and 
can at best be only roughly estimated, and while we have 
no certain means of ascertaining the quantity consumed 
in that country itself, fair conclusion may be drawn from 
the data at hand. Taking the population at 400 millions 


and considering that the use of tea is universal among 
its inhabitants, an average of five pounds per capita 
would not be an overestimate, making a total of two billion 
pounds alone for home consumption. Again averaging 
the product at 100 pounds of cured tea per acre and the 
total area under tea cultivation at 20 million acres, if, 
therefore, we admit the home consumption of tea in 
China to be two billion pounds, we cannot but be sur- 
prised at the relatively small quantity which is exported 
from that country. According to the latest statistics, we 
find that the total exports to all countries from China 
does not exceed 200 million pounds, which is less than 
one-tenth of the total production of that country. 

Tea is grown for commercial purposes all over the 
Japanese islands, from Kiusiu in the south to Niphon in 
the north, but both in quantity and quality of their 
product the central provinces of Hondo are the finest, 
particularly that produced in the districts on the coast 
provinces of the interior sea. The tea soil of Japan is 
described as slate atmospherically dissolved with gypsum 
and phosphoric acid, produced by manuring. The system 
of cultivation and methods of preparation do not differ ma- 
terially from those of the Chinese, the first picking, which 
is the best, occurring about the beginning of May, the 
second a month later, the third is often, however, omitted 
altogether, in order not to injure the plants. In Japan the 
raw leaves are generally sold to the exporters, by whom 
they are prepared and converted into the several descrip- 
tions known to commerce. 

When a sufficient quantity has been accumulated they 
are carried to the hong or " drying house " and first placed 
in large bamboo baskets, in which they are subjected to a 


steam bath for about a minute, after which process they are 
spread out in the open air to cool and dry thoroughly, 
previous to being fired and curled. Only about five 
pounds of the leaves are put in the pans at a time for 
manipulation, the process being identical with that of 
China, with the exception that they are finally dried in 
bamboo baskets suspended over the furnaces by cords 
from the ceiling for about fifteen minutes. During this 
time they are gently agitated by the hands of the 
operators in order to diffuse the heat and more thoroughly 
dry them. They are then removed by a dextrous motion 
with fan-like scoops and tossed in the air to free them 
from dust and stems, and afterwards picked over by 
women and children before packing in the lead-lined 
chests for export. 

In color, flavor and character, Japan teas are totally 
distinct from any and all other varieties, the finer grades 
being exceedingly delicate, rich and peculiar to themselves. 
They yield a light-colored liquor, very fragrant in flavor, 
but apt to deceive the casual drinker, as after continued 
use they are found to possess greater strength and pun- 
gency than most China teas, their effect on the nervous 
system being very soon perceptible. They are classed 
commercially as Yama-shiro, Uji, Kioto, Yedo, Eisyie, 
Suringar, Hatchoji, Nagahama, Nagasaki, Tosia and 
Bancha, grading in value in the order named, and con- 
verted into Pan-fired, Sun-dried, Basket-fired, Nibs and 
Siftings, with occasionally small lots of Pekoe, Congou, 
Oolong, Imperial, Gunpowder and Young Hyson makes. 

Pan-fired The finer grades have a long, well-curled, 
natural green leaf, presenting an unbroken appearance, 
sinking immediately to the bottom of the cup on infusion, 
uncurling rapidly and showing more or less perfect leaves 
<n the infused state. It yields a clear, bright liquor, which 


remains unchanged in color and flavor until cold. The 
flavor is delicate and fragrant in odor somewhat like 
that of new-mown hay. The medium grades are corres- 
pondingly rougher in make, darker in liquor and duller in 
flavor, while the commoner ones are coarse and unsightly 
in style, varying from a greenish to a mottled blue in 
color, and possessing a " brassy" or metallic taste, due to 
the cosmetic or artificial coloring-matter used in their 

Sun-dried As the name implies, are steamed and 
dried in the sun before firing, in order to fix their color 
permanently. The leaf is olive-green, well fired, com- 
pactly curled and " toasty" in the cup, owing to their 
thorough fermentation before firing, and although not as 
well appreciated as the Pan-fired, are much superior in 
drinking properties, their extra fermentation destroying 
the " grassy " flavor so characteristic of many Japans. 
The lower grades range from a yellowish to a dull-green, 
indifferently rolled and often " fishy" in flavor, said to 
be contracted from the use of fish manure in the coast 

Basket-fired So named from being cured by the 
" basket process," and in contradistinction to those fired 
in pans. The finer grades are long, dark and exceedingly 
well twisted or curled, entirely free from stems, dust and 
other extraneous matter, clear and bright in liquor, and 
mellow or " mealy" in flavor, the latter quality making 
them a very valuable sort for blending purposes. The 
commoner grades are rough, and uncouth in style, 
brownish-black in color, thick and heavy in liquor, but 
lacking in " grip" and flavor. 

Kumo Or " Spider-leg" Japan, is in reality only a finer 
grade of basket-fired ; long, narrow, black, and " wirey" 
in leaf, and elastic in texture. It is of the Pekoe order 


in make, but still retaining all the properties of liquor and 
flavor of a Japan tea pure and simple. 

Nibs Are composed of the refuse of the forego- 
ing kinds, bearing the same relation to Japans that 
Twankays do to Green teas, many of them drawing and 
drinking exceedingly well, according to the grade sepa- 
rated from. 

Up to 1856 China tea was the only tea used in the 
United States, but during that year a small quantity of 
Japan teas, consisting of about 50 half-chests, was first 
received in this country. Being found pure and free from 
coloring-matter, it soon became very popular with con- 
sumers, a large number of whom had been prejudiced 
against China green teas at the time, under the impres- 
sion that they were more or less artificially colored. 
The demand steadily increased, 400 half-chests were im- 
ported the following year, which was increased to 1,100 
chests in 1859. About 1860 the Japanese changed their 
mode of curing, adopting that of the Chinese as applied 
to Green teas, with the result of altering the color from 
a dark to a light green, and of imparting a high " ioasty " 
or malty flavor, in lieu of the uncooked or " grassy " 
taste which characterized the first importations, since 
which period and change they have continued to grow 
in popular favor. But the supply of Japan teas being at one 
time greatly in excess of the demand and the price declining 
in many instances below the cost of production, in connec- 
tion with the fact that the teas as originally prepared were 
used only in the American market, induced the Japanese 
to convert their surplus leaf into other varieties, such as 
Pekoes, Congous, Oolongs, Imperials, Gunpowders, and 
Young Hysons, in imitation of the Chinese " makes," with 
the futile expectation of popularizing them in England and 
other countries, where, heretofore, only very small 


quantities were consumed. With this intention Chinese 
skilled labor was imported into the tea districts to aid them 
in the experiment of preparing these makes of teas. 
The result proved most unsatisfactory as was anticipated 
at the time by experts and others interested in the 
project, only very small quantities of the respective kinds 
being produced occasionally. It is predicted, however, 
that all the different descriptions now received from other 
countries will be eventually prepared in Japan, in evidence 
of which a tea rivalling the finest Formosa in general 
character is now produced in the Hondo district from a 
variety of the Japan plant 

Japan Pekoe Is a long, dark-green, flat leaf tea, 
usually " tipped," but as often not, approaching to that 
of the India variety in style and appearance. But 
while looking remarkably well in the hand and up to 
standard in drink, being smooth in liquor and " malty " 
in flavor, as a general rule it is through overfiring lacking 
in the scent and aroma of the China and even India pro- 

Japan CongOU Approximates in many of its leading 
features to that of the India species, the cured leaf pos- 
sessing similar properties to many of the finer grades of 
the latter. The infusion is brighter in color but thinner 
in body, and more acidulous in flavor, and the reverse of 
palatable, owing to its imperfect fermentation and high 
or overfiring. 

Japan Oolongs Although cured in identically the 
same manner as the China variety, resemble them only 
in general contour. The leaf is darker in color but finer 
in make, approaching more to the Souchong order. The 
infusion is also darker in draw, but very u toasty," that is, 
4< burnt " in flavor, owing to too high firing, retaining 
all the original peculiarities of a regular Japan tea. 


Japan Imperials, Gunpowders and Young Hy- 
sons Differ only from the ordinary Japan teas in form, 
make and color. Being prepared from the same leaf, 
they naturally possess the same general characteristics 
and cup qualities; the demand not justifying, they are not 
produced in any appreciable quantities. 

The production of tea in Japan is constantly increasing 
and its quality improving, a wider area being devoted to 
its cultivation each year, largely superseding sericulture 
in many districts. The total area now under cultivation 
amounts to nearly 42,000 Cko t or about 100,000 acres. 
The total annual product is estimated at 100,000,000 
pounds, a gain of over 30,000,000 as compared with 
1 890, of which 40,000,000 pounds, or 44 per cent, of the 
total production was consumed in the United States 
during the fiscal year of 1891. The American taste for 
Japan teas continues to grow in proportion, particularly 
in the Northwestern and Pacific States, their consumption 
in this country nearly doubling that of Oolongs and 
Congous combined, and trebling that of Green teas of 
all makes. This too, notwithstanding the fact that only 
a very small proportion of really choice Japan teas are 
ever exported, rarely exceeding one per cent, of the 
entire crop, being principally retained for home con- 

One of the most remarkable circumstances in connec- 
tion with the development of the Tea trade is the rapid 
increase in the production and consumption of India Teas. 
Almost unknown to commerce thirty years ago, they 
are fast becoming an important factor in the busi- 
ness, particularly in the English and colonial markets, 
India being already of such importance to them as a 
source of tea supply that it is only a question of a very 


short time when the tea consumers of these countries 
will no longer regard China as a tea-growing country 
indispensable to them. 

As far as can be ascertained, the first announcement 
of the discovery of the tea-plant in India was made in 
1833, but owing to imperfect specimens being sent to 
botanists for inspection, it was not at the time considered 
a true species. It was fully demonstrated, however, in 
1835, when a plant with perfect leaves, flowers and seeds 
was obtained which proved on analysis to be a species 
of the genus tea allied to, but not identical with that of 
China; Burmese and Chinese experts, to whom the speci- 
mens were submitted, concurring in the statement. 
The report being favorable, an experimental plantation 
was immediately established under government auspices 
with results not known. The first plantation for its cul- 
tivation on a commercial scale was formed in Lukhim- 
pore in 1836, from which the first samples were received 
in 1839, and the first sales made in 1840. But, owing 
to the unfavorable reports given on the first samples of 
the tea prepared from the India leaf, it was rejected by 
the London brokers. The propriety of introducing the 
China species was next suggested by some planters, and 
tons of seed were at once imported from that country, large 
estates being formed from the plants raised from it. 
Many of the plantations were finally composed of 
hybrids or crosses between the China and India species, 
which is now claimed to have been an error, as the 
nearer each variety approaches to the indigenous the 
higher its excellence. 

The tea-producing districts of India are widely scattered, 
the largest Assam being situated in the extreme north- 
east of the country bordering on the Burmese Empire, 
the others being located on the northwestern boundary 


of Nepaul and the Punjaub, while Central India 
appears to be entirely devoid of tea gardens up to 
the present. There are numerous plantations, however, 
scattered over the southwestern provinces of the penin- 
sula, most notably in Wynaad, Neilgherry and Travancore. 
In India, tea is grown on extensive estates, often com- 
prising thousands of acres, situated principally in the 
alluvial valleys of large rivers, or formed on land 
reclaimed from primeval jungle, possessing all the rich- 
ness of virgin soil and cultivated either by the individual 
owners or the agents of companies commanding consid- 
erable capital. Every detail of cultivation and preparation 
is conducted under close and careful European super- 
visors. The plants are raised from seed sown in nur- 
series until they are about 1 8 inches high, when they are 
transplanted to the rows in the gardens in which they 
are to grow, the closest attention being paid to weeding 
and irrigating. The young trees are carefully pruned 
periodically and reduced to a bushy form, until they are 
from two to three years old, when the first picking com- 
mences, the exact time for picking being determined by 
the overseer. The leaves are removed in such a manner 
as to cause no subsequent injury to the plants, by 
which care the India planter is enabled to obtain from 
twelve to sixteen pickings in a single season, the 
Chinese grower being limited to three or four at the 

Each separate picking in India is termed a " Flush," a 
number of flushes constituting a " Break" or " Chop," as 
in China, which is rarely more than 100 chests and fre- 
quently as low as 20, but generally uniform in grade. 
There is another remarkable feature about India teas ; it 
is that while the first, second and third pickings of all 
other teas are respectively inferior to each other there 


is nothing in the India pickings to denote their relation- 
ship to any crop or gathering. The number of pickings 
from the India plant also varies considerably according 
to the soil, situation, garden and season. When all these 
conditions are favorable, the plantation will yield as 
many as sixteen " flushes," while ordinarily and often 
under the most unfavorable conditions five to six are 
obtained in a single season. 

There is no radical difference between the Chinese and 
Indian methods of preparation up to what is termed 
the " Rolling process ; " it being performed in the latter 
country very lightly and only by a minimum of pressure 
by machinery. Each day's collection is immediately 
" withered " until thoroughly evaporated, when they 
are as promptly cured and fired. The processes of 
fermenting and firing are not as detailed or complete 
as in China, the India planter aiming to secure 
the component properties of a strong tea at the 
expense of flavor and keeping qualities. In India 
the tea is generally prepared from the young shoots, 
two leaves only being picked at a time and " withered" 
in the open air without any extraneous aid, much, 
however, depending on the skill and knowledge of 
the operators in arresting the process at the exact 
moment. When the proper point is reached they are 
immediately removed to a " drying " room, and laid 
out on trays until the excessive moisture has been 
dissipated, this process being hastened by occasional 
blasts of hot air driven through by a machine. When 
sufficient moisture has been extracted they are placed in 
a heavy rolling machine and tossed about until all the 
cellular tissues are broken, when they begin to curl up 
tightly, as if by the action of the hand, after which they 
are placed in heaps on tables for some hours to allow 


them to ferment; the color, meanwhile, changing from 
green to a dark bronze during the process. 

In the process of " firing " the leaves are spread out in 
a series of wire-gauze trays, placed in layers in a hot-air 
machine, known as a " Sirocco," from the fact that the 
current of vapor arising from it is suggestive of the hot 
winds of the desert, and in which the temperature aver- 
ages some 300 degrees. These screens are operated 
either in a lateral or rotary direction also by steam, the 
tea being thoroughly fired in from twenty to twenty-five 
minutes, and separated into the different grades at the 
same time. But on some plantations the tea is afterwards 
bulked in large tin-lined cases until a considerable quan- 
tity is accumulated, when it is again lightly fired, the 
operations of sorting and grading being again per- 
formed by machinery previous to being packed in the 
teak-wood chests, in which it is finally shipped. The 
curing and firing of tea by hot air and machinery in 
India is fast superseding the primitive arrangements 
and charcoal processes so long in use in China. Yet 
though much more rapid and effective in its work, and 
certain not to taint the leaves in any manner, it is still an 
open question whether the older and slower methods 
of curing in pans over charcoal fires is not after all 
the better one. That the teas are not properly cured 
or thoroughly fired by this over-hasty method is 
evidenced by the fact that India teas in general are 
noted for their great excess of tannin and peculiar 
raw, "grassy," uncooked or herby flavor. But labor 
and fuel-saving machinery are effecting such economy 
in the cultivation and preparation of tea in India as to 
yearly reduce the cost of its production. So many 
improvements for drying, rolling, firing and sorting 
are annually being recorded that it is difficult even to 


estimate at what figure it may be produced there in the 

India teas comprise Assams, Cachars, Darjeelings, 
Deradoons, Kumaons, Dooars, Chittagongs, Juligoories, 
Rangworthsand Neilgherries, district terms, ranking in the 
order named, and are converted into Pekoes, Souchongs, 
Peko-Souchongs, Congous, Broken-leaf and Fannings. 
In make, style, color, flavor, and general appearance, 
India teas resemble most the Congou sorts of China, but 
many of them being produced from a combination of the 
China and India plants are hybrid in character, differing 
essentially from either originals. Most of them possess 
a sharp, acrid taste, not to be found in any other variety, 
and a peculiar flavor rarely liked by consumers, unless 
when tempered with the softer and more mellow China 
growths, and to neutralize which peculiarity it is at all 
times necessary to use only the best India grades. In 
make they are in general longer and narrower in leaf, 
darker in color, more shapely, better curled or twisted, and 
finer in texture than the corresponding Chinese varieties. 

Assams Are greyish-black in color, the leaf of the 
finer grades being " Pekoe- tipped " and evenly curled. 
The liquor is unusually strong and pungent, in addition 
to being thick and heavy in body. The infused leaf 
dark-brown, with a reddish tinge, and almost perfect 
in form. 

Cachars Are blacker in color, but not as well curled 
or even in appearance. The liquor is softer and occa- 
sionally " fruity," approaching a burnt flavor, while the 
infused leaf is larger, darker and not as finely shaped. 

Daijeeling Is a hybrid variety, produced from a 
cross between the China and India species, and partak- 
ing somewhat of the character of both. It is still 
blacker in the dry leaf, but on an average not as finely 


curled, and while full in body is not as pungent or flavory 
in the cup. The infused leaf is more bright, tender, 
shapely and " salmony " red in color. 

Kangras As a rule are dark and symmetrical in leaf, 
light in liquor, but delicate and aromatic in flavor. The 
infused leaf is reddish-brown in color, with dark or burnt 
edges, but perfect in shape and form. 

Deradoon Is a high-fired tea, loosely made and dete- 
riorating rapidly, becoming sour on exposure to the air. 
Occasionally the flavor is " earthy," analagous to that of 
Ankoi Oolong, for which reason they are not much sought 

Kumaon Is generally converted into Green teas, 
including Imperials, Gunpowders, and Hysons, all being 
prepared from the same leaf. The chief difference lies 
in their make and color, as they still retain all the 
characteristics of liquor and flavor of India teas. 

Chittagongs Are strong, thick and heavy in the cup ; 
" nutty " in flavor and considered good, useful teas for 
blending purposes, from their great strength and positive 
character, for which qualities they are always in good 

Dooars Approximate to Cachars in color, make and 
general appearance, strong, but rough in liquor, pungent 
and pleasing in flavor, a valuable tea for blending, impart- 
ing tone and character to any combination in which they 
may be used. 

Neilgherry Is a very inferior sort, bearing the same 
relation to India teas that Ankois do to Oolongs and 
Pingsueys to Green teas. The leaf in general is black, 
coarse, " tippy," rough and unsightly in the hand, while 
the liquor is thin, muddy and rank or " weedy " in 


Travancore Is a " new district " tea, which, like all 
new teas, is large and coarse in leaf, heavy and dark in 
liquor, and strong and wild or " grassy " in flavor. 

Juligoorie and Rangworths Are bold in style, 
rather rough in make, but regular and well developed. 
The liquor is thick and rich in color, rough or " rasping" 
in flavor, but occasionally smooth and " toasty," while 
the infused leaves are bright and well formed as a rule. 


India Pekoes Are ordinarily of a greyish-black hue, 
with a fair sprinkling of grayish-yellow tips, downy in 
appearance, while the liquor is very strong, brisk and 
pungent, varying in quality and flavor according to the 
district of production. 

Orange-Pekoe Is a small, evenly-curled leaf, having 
a yellowish or golden " tip " at the ends. In liquor and 
flavor it approximates close to plain Pekoe, being 
devoid of scent, that many growers make no distinction 
between them. 

Flowery-Pekoe Is not picked from the plant, but 
separated from the other grades, only the buds and 
youngest leaves being selected. The cured leaf is small, 
uniform and tender, silvery-green in color, although highly- 
fired, pale but strong in liquor, approaching that of a 
Moyune Green in flavor, being very deceptive in strength 
and astringency. The infused leaf is symmetrical in form, 
small and light-green in color, approaching that of a 
Foochow Oolong in appearance in the cup. 

Souchong Forms the bulk of the India product and 
may be classed as the "Standard grade;" the qualifica- 
tions for being comprehended under this rating are its even, 
straight, slightly curled leaf, dark color, stylish appear- 
ance and greater quantity. Yet while its liquor does not 


possess the deep strength and pungency of the Pekoe 
sorts, it is generally full and round in body and mellow 
or " malty" in flavor. 

Pekoe-Souchong Is a term applied to Pekoe leaves 
devoid of tips, as well as to Souchong containing a 
fair sprinkling of tipped leaves. But, as a general 
rule, it is an unassorted tea, composed principally of 
the larger and coarser leaves of both Pekoe and 
Souchong that will not pass through the sieves, and 
possessing in the cup the distinctive properties of the 

India Congou Is a tea of the Souchong order too 
large to be made into that kind or a smaller leaf unevenly 
prepared. In liquor and flavor it is much the same as 
Souchong, but is not always as heavy, strong or mellow 
in flavor. 

Broken-leaf As its name implies, is composed of a 
mixture of the various kinds broken in manipulation, and 
is a term of great comprehensiveness, as it may include 
all the lower grades or approach the choicest kinds in 
character and value. It varies in color from brown to 
blackish, its strength being seldom great, though the 
flavor of the finer grades is, in general, good ; that of the 
commoner ones being poor, thin and coarse. 

India Bohea Consists chiefly of the old and coarser 
leaves which do not attain a desirable black color in firing, 
being devoid of sap. The leaf is generally brown, some- 
times yellowish in color, the liquor possessing scarcely 
any strength, usually coarse and rough in flavor, and 
never of much value at any time. 

Fannings Are composed of the refuse, much broken 
leaves and dust of all the preceding kinds, and bear the 
same relation to India teas that Twankays do to Greea 
and Nibs to Japan teas. 


Namuna In Hindostanee literally means " Sample," 
being accidentally applied to a class of India tea, possess- 
ing great strength and high, peculiar flavor not confined 
to any particular district or plantation. The dry leaf may 
have the regular grayish-black hue, or be of a greenish- 
black color, the green leaves being intermixed and distinct 
from the black ones. It invariably yields a pale, corn- 
yellow colored liquor, resembling that of Oolong, heavier 
and stronger than ordinary Pekoe, and in flavor like a 
Moyune, yet distinct from the former and not as pungent 
as the latter. Frequently, however, it is intermingled 
with a nasty black leaf, the flavor of which is destroyed 
by over-firing, the green leaves being due to deficient or 

There are many serious objections to the general use 
of India teas, one of which is the great excess of tannin 
(tannic acid) which they contain, ranging from 1 3 to 1 8 
per cent, in this variety, and to which property tea owes 
its astringency, constipating effect on the bowels and the 
ink-black color which it imparts to water containing salts 
of iron. In England a crusade is being preached against 
their use by medical authorities on this account, the 
marked increase in dyspeptic and nervous diseases in 
that country being attributed to their general consump- 
tion there. Some experts argue that by a shorter infu- 
sion sufficiently long to extract the theine with less of 
the tannin this serious defect may be eventually 
remedied. Such, however, is not the case, as experi- 
ments made with it at three and five minute infusions 
have still shown an excess of tannin, in addition to that 
of making the liquor raw, herby, and entirely unsatis- 
factory in flavor. The same time-tests resulting in favor 
of both China and Japan teas, and which, judging by the 
bitterness and astringency, the amount of tannin yielded 


by India teas in a five-minute draw is incredible. While 
China teas, under the same conditions, possesses little or 
no trace of tannic acid, or offending the most sensitive 
palate or constitution, but on the contrary being both 
pleasing and refreshing to the most sensitive natures. 
Another distinct and dubious feature of India teas is the 
formation of a gummy or oily film which settles on top 
of the infusion when drawn, and claimed to be very 
injurious to the nervous system and digestive organs. 
When first infused this substance is scarcely discernible, 
but just as soon as the liquor begins to cool this opaque 
coating forms and develops on top. It is of an oily, 
creamy or gummy nature, forming a thin layer of a dull, 
whitish-brown color, more dense than the liquor and 
changing to a darker shade as it cools. Its nature or 
effect has not yet been definitely determined, but 
sufficient is known to prove that it is particularly 
unwholesome, for their selection is also more difficult than 
that of any other variety owing to their well-known 
tendency to early decay, becoming sour and rancid on 
short exposure to the oxydizing influences of the atmos- 
phere, the greatest caution having to be exercised in 
avoiding those that will not keep for any length of time 
owing to this most objectionable peculiarity, losing flavor 
quicker and decaying faster than any other kinds, not 
even excepting low-grade Japans. This loss of flavor and 
rapid decay is greater in some sorts than in others, the 
grades most easily affected in this manner being the 
highly-fired, light-flavored and open-leaf makes. 

The demand for India teas in this country is only 
limited, owing to the present taste of consumers, and 
there appears little hope of any increase in the future. 
What little is sold being used chiefly for blending with 
Lae softer and more mellow-flavored teas of China ; the 


India grades supplying the absent quality of strength 
to the latter. Strenuous efforts have and are being made 
to introduce them, but so far with indifferent success. 
The character of the liquor after the infusion is so entirely 
foreign in body, color, flavor and aroma from that of the 
China and Japan sorts to which the people have been 
accustomed, and which appears to be an inherited taste, 
so deeply is it set, that little or no progress can be made 
in these attempts. The great strength, pungency and 
pronounced flavor of the choicer grades rendering them 
valuable only for blending purposes. Still it is difficult 
to overestimate the importance of India as a source of 
tea supply. Twenty years ago it furnished only about 
10,000,000 pounds to the world's supply, but so rapidly 
has its production increased that the crop for 1892 is 
estimated at 110,000,000 pounds. Its consumption in 
England is annually increasing, the total deliverance 
for that year being 103,000,000 pounds as against 
99,000,000 pounds for 1890, while for 1889 the increase 
was upwards of 12,000,000 pounds over that of 1888. 
These enormous strides in the consumption of India teas 
in England is only equalled by that of Ceylon teas, the 
British public demanding strong, dark liquoring teas 
irrespective of flavor, aroma or effect. 


The tea-plant, though claimed to have been first intro- 
duced into Ceylon by the English, who, on principle, 
" claim everything," was originally carried by the Dutch 
from China to that island as early as 1800, notwith- 
standing that Percival maintains that it was first dis- 
covered there in a wild state. But while it is admitted 
that a species known as Matara was found in some parts 


of the island, later investigation proved that it had no 
relation whatever to that of the regular teas of com- 
merce. Tennant, in 1842, was the first Englishman to 
speak of Ceylon as a possible tea-growing country, but 
the highly profitable cultivation of coffee at that time 
attracted so much public attention that the article which 
has since proved to be the real wealth of the island was 
heedlessly overlooked, so that it is not too much to say 
that the present high position of Ceylon as a tea-pro- 
ducing country has been to a great extent entirely due 
to accident, it being only after the outbreak of the coffee- 
pest in 1 870 that tea was first looked upon as a possible 
source of profit. When utter ruin seemed the only fate 
of the planters, it was suggested that they turn their 
attention to the cultivation of tea. A commission was 
duly appointed to visit the tea districts of India, and 
report upon the desirability of introducing the tea-plant 
into Ceylon. Very tardily, indeed, at first did the planters 
come to regard the experiment in the light of a paying 
speculation, for old habits and prejudices were strong, 
inducing them to cling with persistency to the hope that 
the coffee-plague would ultimately disappear, and it was 
only as a last resource that they decided to turn their 
attention to tea-culture on that island. The first planta- 
tion was started with plants received from China; the 
result, however, proved a financial failure, the first tea 
produced therefrom costing $25 per pound. Other spas- 
modic efforts were made later, until it was finally admitted 
that tea-culture could be made a success on the island, 
when a rush was made for estates for tea-growing pur- 
poses. The progress made was small at the beginning, 
many of those who planted tea doing so under the con- 
viction that the industry would not pay, abandoning the 
scheme almost at the outset. 


Ceylon eventually began its career as a tea-growing 
country under the most favorable circumstances ; all the 
mythical hallucinations about tea cultivation having been 
removed, the disastrous experience of India saving Ceylon 
from falling into any serious error at the outset. Several 
India planters settled on the island, bringing with them a 
knowledge of its proper cultivation and preparation, so 
that when these facts are taken into consideration, the 
success which has attended its cultivation in Ceylon is 
not so much to be wondered at. The island also pos- 
sessed other advantages over India in that it suffers less 
from drought, the rains are more regular and equable, 
there being scarcely a month in the year without at least 
some rain, and apart from the adaptability of its soil and 
climate, it has cheaper labor and superior facilities for 
forwarding the tea to the shipping ports, all important 
factors in its cultivation for profit. The tea-producing 
districts of the island are very compact, having Kandy as 
its chief centre and extending well into the southwestern 
provinces touching the coast toward the west. The 
southwestern section of the island is considered a perfect 
tea-growing district, soil is good, the climate hot and 
moist, and the plant can be cultivated at almost any 
elevation, several plantations there being situated as high 
as 6,000 feet above sea-level. But although the crops 
are fairly healthy at this altitude, it is admitted that the 
plantations lower down are best adapted for the produc- 
tion of the finer grades. The first successful garden was 
established in 1870 in the now celebrated Loocandura 
estate, with plants brought from Calcutta, and coolies 
skilled in its cultivation and manipulation. Tea of par- 
ticularly good quality was produced from the begin- 
ning, samples of which were sent to London and 
highly spoken of by dealers there. Since that time tea 


cultivation in Ceylon has made steady progress if not 
rapid strides. 

The plant chiefly grown in Ceylon is a hybrid the 
Manipur or indigenous tea of Manipari (India) is also 
extensively planted there, being equally hardy and suit- 
able to the soil of the island, which is of a light, sandy 
nature, thickly intermixed with iron-sandstone, this min- 
eral being peculiarly attractive to the tea-plant. The 
methods of cultivation and preparation are similar in 
every respect to those in vogue in India. The land is 
carefully drained and weeded, the trees are not allowed 
to grow too high, being reduced to a bushy form and 
picked when they are from two to three years old, 
according to site and elevation, and the tea prepared from 
the tender shoots only, caution being exercised not to 
injure the plants or future flushes checked. 

Picking the leaf is carried on all the year round in 
Ceylon, except during pruning time, when the plants do 
not " flush " for two months, with which exception they 
flush every week, from each shoot of which the two top- 
leaves with the young shoot and half the third or coarser 
leaf are only plucked at a time. At 4 o'clock each 
evening the day's " picking " is carried to the factory and 
the leaves laid out on the " withering " mats, which are 
stretched one above the other from poles or racks until 
the next morning, when the leaf is sufficiently evaporated, 
being rendered soft, pliable, and easy to roll by that time. 
The next process, that of " Rolling," is one to which 
special attention is paid, as it is mainly to this system 
that the quality of the tea depends. The previously 
withered leaves are put into the roller, which is operated 
by hand or steam power, 100 pounds at a time placed 
in an upper box of the machine and pressed down with 
weights on the table or lower portion of the machine. 


The box containing the pressed tea travels with a cir- 
cular motion round the table, by which the leaves are 
pressed, twisted and rolled as they come in contact with 
the small battens fitted into the centre of the table. 
After an hour the pressure is increased until at the 
finish it is from four to five hundred pounds on the 
leaves, the juice thus expressed being carefully collected 
and poured back into the roller every now and again 
until it is all absorbed by the crushed and twisted mass 
of leaves. When the rolling process is finished, the 
leaves are then placed on trays holding from 20 to 25 
pounds, covered with a wet cloth and allowed to ferment 
from two to four hours according to the weather, or 
until they become a bright-copper color, when they are 
again rolled from a half to an hour according to fancy, 
after which they are ready for firing. 

The " Sirocco machine " for firing tea-leaves by hot air 
has also superseded the pan or " Charcoal process " in 
Ceylon. The leaves having been laid out on wire-gauze 
trays, they are passed through this " hot-air " machine, 
in which they become thoroughly fired Tea in from 
twenty to twenty-five minutes, after which it is placed 
in sieves, which are worked either in a lateral or revolv- 
ing direction by the aid of steam or manual power, and 
the different grades are sifted out, the larger and coarser 
leaves which do not pass through the sieves falling into 
a " cutter," where they are cut to a uniform size. On 
estates where they bulk the Tea, in Ceylon, the result, 
of the day's work is placed in enormous air-tight lead- 
lined chests, where it remains until a sufficient quantity 
to form a " Break " or " Chop " is accumulated, which is 
generally once per week. The chest is then opened 
from the bottom and the tea bulked, after which it is 
lightly fired again and packed into the teak-wood chests 


for shipment. Light iron chests, coated inside and out 
with lead, and a lid to screw on, are now being exten- 
sively used by many estates for the better shipment of 
teas in both India and Ceylon. 

Ceylon teas derive their trade names from the estates 
or plantations on which they are grown, being classed 
commercially as " Loocanduris," " Matagalas," " Ruan- 
wallas," " Kanda-loyas," " Semba-watties," "Windsor 
Forests," " Narangallas," " Rakuwana," " Madulsuma" 
and " Kandapole," the finest being produced in the dis- 
tricts of Dunbula and Dolosbagie. Like India teas, they 
are principally converted into Pekoes, Souchongs, Pekoe- 
Souchongs, Congous, Broken-leaf, and Fannings. Their 
strength and flavor, like those of their India prototypes, 
varying greatly in quality in accordance with the eleva- 
tion at which they are grown, their uniformity also vary- 
ing from year to year as in the India districts. Some of 
the better grades resemble Cachars and Darjeelings, 
being full and strong in liquor, but frequently " toasty " 
or burnt in flavor, while the lower grades are decidedly 
inferior to the corresponding China grades in flavor and 
fragrance. A feature about the later shipments most 
to be regretted is that the planters appear to be making 
the same mistake that the Chinese and Japanese have 
made, that of sacrificing quality to quantity in their 
eagerness to get rich too fast. 

Ceylon-PekoesAre of three kinds, " Plain," " Sil- 
ver," and " Golden-tip " Pekoes. The former is a small, 
plain black-leaf tea, lightly " tipped " and finely made. 
The liquor is bright and fairly heavy in body and frag- 
rant so far as this term applies to this variety, but is not 
adapted to the American taste. 

Silver-tip Pekoe Is a long, whitish-downy leaf 
almost " satiny " in texture, with silvery tips at the ends. 


The liquor is dark-yellow or golden, bright and spark- 
ling in the cup, delicate and fragrant in flavor, but very 
much overrated in commercial value and intrinsic merit. 

Golden-tip Pekoe Is smaller in make, darker in 
color, " silky " in texture, and literally ablaze with rich 
yellow or orange tips. The infusion is much darker and 
heavier in body, of a deep wine color, fresh and piquant 
in taste, and much appreciated by those who prefer this 

Ceylon Souchong Is rather large and bold in style 
for this " make " of tea, but is nevertheless heavy and 
round in body, rich and mellow in flavor, and, taken 
altogether, a pleasing and palatable tea for all practical 

Pekoe-Souchong Is chiefly composed of the larger 
and coarser leaves that will not pass through the sieves, 
but which, falling into the " cutter " in sifting, are cut 
up into an even and uniform size. It is medium in size, 
" choppy " in appearance, ripe and rich in liquor, fairly 
brisk and " malty " in flavor. 

Ceylon Congous Are open, rough and coarse in 
style, dark in liquor, heavy in body, but fairly brisk and 
pungent in flavor, making, on the whole, a serviceable 
tea for blending with Chinese Congous or Oolongs of 
the lower grades. 

" Bhud " Tea Is a term applied to a small golden- 
yellow leaf Ceylon Tea, claimed to be composed of the 
buds of the plant just expanding, but is in reality pre- 
pared from the smallest and yellowest leaves of the ordi- 
nary " Golden-tip Pekoe," and though sometimes com- 
manding a fabulously high and inflated price, out of all 
reason with its intrinsic value as a tea, and which is only 
done for advertising purposes being in reality no better 
in either drawing or drinking qualities. 


Broken Leaf Like those of the India variety, are 
composed of the large, old and mutilated leaves separ- 
ated in sifting from all or either of the foregoing kinds, 
drawing and drinking in ratio to the variety obtained 

FannlngS Also, like their Indian prototype, are pre- 
pared from the screenings and refuse of leaves of the 
respective kinds, but are poor teas to handle as a rule. 

As late as 1873 there were only 255 acres under tea 
cultivation in Ceylon, the total area at present time reach- 
ing as high as 150,000 acres, with an average yield of 
1,000 pounds per acre, figures which go to show the 
marvelous strides the island has made in the industry 
in a comparatively few years, large tracts being still 
taken up for the purpose. The total product in 1888 
was 23,000,000 pounds, as against 13,000,000 pounds for 
the previous year, an increase of 10,000,000 pounds in a 
single year, a record never even approached in the his- 
tory of the tea trade. And, when it is taken into con- 
sideration that it is only a few years since tea cultivation 
was practically commenced on that island, it is obvious 
that the future of its product must be very bright in- 
deed. It is already predicted by planters and others 
interested that the tea export of Ceylon will eventually 
rival, if not exceed, that of India itself. The average 
cost of Tea to the Ceylon producers is about 6j^ pence 
(13 cents) per pound, some of the lowland estates putting 
their teas f. o. b. in Colombo at even less than this 

Nearly all the India and Ceylon teas go into consump- 
tion in England and her possessions, the bulk of her 
China purchases being re-exported. The English mer- 
chants invariably favoring the products of their own col- 
onies to the prejudice of those of other countries, dis- 


criminating against them, irrespective of merit or value, 
in this particular instance compelling their customers, in 
a measure, to use these dubious varieties of the genus 
tea. But for presumption and audacity in their claims 
of superiority the India and Ceylon tea growers and 
dealers are far and away ahead of all competition. The 
so-called great favor with which India and Ceylon teas 
are said to be regarded by British consumers being due 
in a great measure to the energy and persistency with 
which the trade has been pushed, the teas being literally 
forced on the public by the Government as well as by 
the English growers and dealers, in addition to the strong 
ties of relationship connecting the planters with the 
mother country. There is not the slightest doubt but 
that the check which the consumption of China teas 
appears to have sustained in England is entirely due to 
these causes. But already there is a growing and posi- 
tive revulsion of taste in many sections of that country 
in favor of the purer China teas, owing to their truer 
character, greater delicacy and richness of flavor. 

The chief and only advantages that India and Ceylon 
teas possess over those of China and Japan are their great 
strength and thickness in the cup, which are due mainly 
to the modern methods of fermentation and firing by 
steam and machinery. China and Japan teas excel them 
in flavor and aroma, occupying in regard to them a 
position analogous to that of French wines, in com- 
parison with those of other countries. The product of 
the latter may be stronger and heavier in body, but for 
richness of flavor and delicacy of aroma essential quali- 
ties in both wine and tea the French grape and China 
tea-leaf stand alone and unrivalled for their intrinsic 
merits, as well as for their being the only true teas, in all 
that constitutes tea. Broadly stated, the predominant 


features of India and Ceylon teas are body and strength, 
those of China and Japan flavor and aroma. 

There is also this difference between them, that while 
a given quantity of India and Ceylon teas will yield a 
larger amount of a darker-colored liquor and stronger in 
flavor than that of a similar quantity of China and Japan, 
they still lack the richness and delicacy of the latter, if 
not indeed the properties of a true tea altogether. 
Again, as to how much liquor an equal quantity of the 
former will yield in comparison with a similar weight 
of the latter, is another mooted question. As far as 
quantity, color and body are concerned, it must be 
admitted that India and Ceylon teas are once and a half 
greater. But in flavor and aroma, the essential qualities 
that constitute and are most appreciated in tea, China and 
Japan teas far excel them. Thus if one pound of China 
or Japan teas yields five gallons of extract of a certain 
weight, strength and color, one pound of India or Ceylon 
will produce seven and a half gallons of a similar bever- 
age, but will be devoid of that fragrant flavor and rich 
aroma so characteristic of the China and Japan product. 
The value of tea, intrinsically and commercially, depend- 
ing principally upon the character and flavor of the 
infusion, as well as the aroma imparted to it by the 
volatile oil. 

Ceylon, like India teas, will not keep as long or as well 
as either China or Japan, becoming sour and rancid by 
exposure in a few months, defects attributed to the 
method of curing, but in reality inherent in them. Again 
the latter contain a larger percentage of the active prin- 
ciple (theine) and less of the astringent property (tannin), 
and are consequently less injurious and more refreshing. 
The great excess of the latter property in both India and 
Ceylon teas accounting for their dark color, and harsh. 


pungent taste in the infusion, as well as being the unsus- 
pected cause of the indigestion and nervousness among 
those who use them to any extent. So that in view of 
the strenuous efforts now made to introduce India and 
Ceylon teas into the American market, it may be well to 
here caution consumers against their injurious and dele- 
terious effects on the human system, such injury being 
caused, not alone by the excess of tannin, but also by 
the sap or juice of the natural leaf not being sufficiently 
expressed before the leaves are fired by proper fermen- 
tation. It being claimed by physicians and others that 
to the fixed and general use of these teas in England 
is attributable the great increase of heart-burn, flatulency, 
nervousness and dyspepsia among the people of that 

Against the dubious and questionable advantages of 
body and strength so loudly vaunted in India and Ceylon 
teas, China and Japan possess others greater and more 
important ones among which are that the tea-grower in 
the latter countries working his own land in smaller 
quantities brings greater care and more industry to the 
task. Again in the methods of curing and firing the leaf, 
the latter have also the advantage of superiority, as it is 
now generally admitted by experts and others interested 
in the business that though the " Sirocco " or hot-air 
process may be more rapid in its work and certain not 
to taint the leaves in any way, it is yet open to doubt 
whether the older, slower, and more natural method of 
firing in pans over charcoal fires is not the better, more 
thorough and effective in its results than the new and 
artificial one. The Chinese and Japanese have been curing 
and firing teas by that method for centuries, and they 
surely ought to be the best judges by this time. 
To sum up, India and Ceylon may produce stronger 


and more powerful teas if that can be called a recommen- 
dation, but for smoothness of liquor, richness and delicacy 
of flavor, such as are essential to every-day, universal 
consumption, the China tea-leaf and French grape stand 
and will continue to stand unrivalled. India and Ceylon 
may claim to be the teas of to-day, but it remains to be 
seen whether that day be long or short, as in my humble 
opinion, without laying any claim to the prophetic, the 
teas of the future as in the past will be China and Japan 


Tea culture was introduced to the Island of Java in 
1826, the seeds and plants being obtained from Japan for 
the purpose. The plants having thrived beyond expec- 
tation, a plantation of 800 trees was formed the following 
year in the residency of Buitzenorg, although samples of 
tea grown elsewhere on the island were shown at an 
exhibition held in Amsterdam in 1828. Another planta- 
tion was subsequently established in the district of Carvet 
in Preanger, from which its cultivation later extended to 
Krawang and other residencies in the island. So success- 
ful was the progress made that in 1833 the number of 
trees in the latter residency was returned at more than 
500,000. Up to 1842 tea was cultivated in Java exclu- 
sively for Government account and under the immediate 
supervision of its own officials, nearly 14,000,000 trees 
being in bearing there that year. But the number of 
laborers required for its cultivation and manipulation 
becoming so large, the supervision so difficult, and the 
results so unsatisfactory, the Government was eventually 
compelled to relinquish many of its plantations to private 
parties, contracting at the same time to purchase their 
product at a fixed price. This change proved beneficial, 
resulting in a still further extension and improvement in 


its culture; the contracts with the Government being 
entirely annulled after seven years' trial, and the industry 
being left to private energy and capital, without control 
or interference, it soon developed to large proportions. 

In Java the best teas are grown at an elevation rang- 
ing from 3,000 to 4,000 feet above sea-level, the finest 
being produced on the mountain slopes, in the residencies 
of Preanger, Bagelen and Banjoemas. Nothing could be 
more attractive than the plantations situated on these 
ranges, each containing from 70,000 to 100,000 plants in 
perennial bloom and giving employment to from twenty- 
five to thirty families of native laborers. The methods 
of cultivation and preparation are much the same as in 
Japan, though latterly the India system is being largely 
adopted, both Black and Green teas being prepared at 
will from the leaf of the same plants. The seeds are 
first sown in nurseries, from which the young plants, 
when old enough, are set out in line, at a uniform dis- 
tance of four feet from each other. The trees are never 
allowed to exceed two and a half feet in height, and are 
much more prolific than either the China or India species, 
the leaves being picked from them all the year round. 
They are known to commerce under the appellations of 
" Preangers," " Krawangs," " Cheribons," "Bagelens" 
and " Banjcemas " teas, and usually converted into Pekoe, 
Souchong, Pekoe-Souchong, Congous, Oolongs and Im- 
perials, Broken-leaf and Siftings after the India and Cey- 
lon manner. The leaves for the different " makes " are 
sorted during picking and graded according to size, the 
smallest and tenderest being converted into Pekoe, the 
medium size into Souchongs, and the largest and oldest 
into Congous, Oolongs, Imperials and Broken-leaf teas. 

Java Pekoe Is a small, jet-black leaf, lightly tipped 
with yellowish ends. The liquor is extremely dark, 


almost black in color, heavy and thick in body, bitter 
and astringent in flavor, and entirely unsuited to the 
average taste. 

Java Souchongs Are composed of the older and 
coarser leaves of the tea-plant. They are bold in style, 
black in color, dark in draw, thick in body, and exceed- 
ingly strong in flavor, too much so to use alone. 

Pekoe-Souchongs Comprise the older and coarser 
leaves of the respective pickings, considered too large 
for conversion into Pekoe and too small for Souchong, 
possessing the same characteristics in draw and drink 
of both the latter varieties. 

Java Congous Are large, rough, loosely made teas, 
dark in liquor, heavy in body, and strong to rankness in 
flavor, on the whole a most undesirable sort for any 
purpose, becoming rancid and sour when kept too long. 

Java Oolongs Are Java tea pure and simple, made 
in imitation of China Oolongs, but possessing nothing 
of the properties or characteristics of the latter, only the 

Java Green Teas Include Imperial Hysons and 
Young Hysons, but are only so in name, as they still 
possess all the peculiarities of Java tea in draw and 
drinking qualities. 

Java teas in general are particularly small in leaf, dull- 
black in color, but exceedingly well made and handsome 
in appearance, almost perfect in style, approximating 
more to Indias in make, color and character, but do not 
keep well, becoming rank and sour on brief exposure to the 
atmosphere. The liquor of all of them is also deficient 
in strength and flavor, being devoid of any pronounced 
fragrance or distinctive aroma, defects attributable in a 
great measure to faulty and imperfect manufacture, as 
well as to the fact that they are picked from the plants 


the year round and allowed no resting or recuperating 
period. The annual product averages about 15,000,000 
pounds, packed in large wooden cases weighing from 
100 to 1 20 pounds, and shipped principally to Holland, 
Germany and England, only small lots occasionally being 
received in this country. 

At the present time the cultivation of tea is mainly con- 
fined to the province of Preanger, in the western part of 
the island, the industry being in the hands of experienced 
planters, who spare no pains to increase the product and 
quality of the article. Notwithstanding their care, how- 
ever, they cannot congratulate themselves on the profits 
resulting therefrom, the price continuing to fall, the 
planters being forced to expend their utmost energies to 
save their plantations from ruin, this being not only 
the case with recent enterprises, but also with the older 
plantations that have been flourishing for many years. 
In addition to decline in price, the Java tea plantations 
have been ravaged by an insect known as the Theluis (tea 
louse), which each year destroys in value hundreds of 
thousands of florins, but at the same time there is notice- 
able a distinct improvement in the quality of the tea pro- 
duced there. Until very recently they were only used in 
Europe when mixed with China teas on account of the 
excessive quantity of tannin which they contain, and 
known tendency to rapid decay, the improvement in 
quality now rendering that process needless, the intro- 
duction of Assam plants enabling the planters to compete 
with India and Ceylon. 


African Teas. It is expected that both India and 
Ceylon will doubtless have in the near future a for- 
midable rival to their tea industry in South Africa, where 


promising tea gardens have been extensively laid out by 
planters from India, with seeds and plants obtained from 
Ceylon. The soil and climate of the region around 
Natal particularly are very similar to those of Southern 
India, and especially favorable to the successful and 
profitable production of the tea plant. Recent reports 
pronounce the venture a complete success, the product in 
1892 amounting to over 20,000 pounds of tea, although 
introduced only three years prior and grading in quality 
with the average teas of Ceylon and India. It is pre- 
dicted that in a few years South Africa will not only 
rival but excel the latter countries not only in the quan- 
tity but also in the quality of their product. 

Singapore Tea. Tea plantations have been recently 
formed in the districts of Johore and Seragoon, from 
seeds and plants imported from India, but as yet are 
only in an experimental stage. Samples already received 
are large in leaf, coarse in make, coal black in color, an 
effort being made to imitate Oolongs in style. The infu- 
sion is dark red, heavy, strong and somewhat astringent 
in flavor. 

Perak Tea. Recently an invoice consisting of some 
eighty half chests of tea grown in the Straits settlements 
was shipped to London. The general quality was so 
favorably commented on by the brokers and dealers 
there that it found a ready sale at full prices for its 

Fiji Tea Is another new addition to the constantly 
increasing teas of commerce. It is produced from plants 
imported from India and assorted into Pekoes, Congous 
and Souchongs, grading with and approximating to Java 
teas in style, color and character. 

Caravan Tea Is simply a fine Lapsing or Padrae 
Souchong, put up in Hankow for the Russian market, and 


transported overland by caravan through Bokhara and 
Central Asia to Moscow and Petersburg. 

Russian Tea Grown in the district of Transcau- 
casia, consists largely of the leaves of a shrub possessing 
the botanical name of Vacinium staphylos, which when 
infused yields a decoction having some resemblance to 
the ordinary teas of commerce, but is acrid and nauseat- 
ing in flavor. They are generally prepared for the ex- 
press purpose of mixing with inferior China tea, and also 
with exhausted leaves, that is, tea once used, dried and 
rolled again. 

American Tea. Samples of tea grown in South 
Carolina have lately been received in the New York 
market and tested there by experts, who pronounce 
them only fair in quality, and ranking them with the 
India, Ceylon and teas of that character. 

Hop Tea Is a species of tea now being prepared 
from common hops in the Kent district in England, 
prepared and cured by the " Sirocco " process, after the 
manner of India tea, and used chiefly to blend with the 
ordinary teas of commerce, the combination resembling 
a mixture of Virginia smoking tobacco and a rough-leaved 
Assam tea. It is claimed to be healthy and wholesome, 
from the fact that the lapulin of the hops counteracts or 
neutralizes the excess of tannin contained in the India 
teas, but nearly doubles it in price. 


Yerba Mate, or " Paraguayan tea," which although 
not entering into general use or commerce, is yet deserv- 
ing of notice in this work from its extensive consump- 
tion among the inhabitants of South America. It is 
prepared from the leaves and stems of the Ilex, a species 
of holly found growing in a wild state in that country. 


In size and appearance it closely resembles an orange 
tree, having a whitish bark and leafy, tufted boughs, 
with leaves four inches long when full grown, dark-green 
in color, thick, glossy and crenate at the edges, pale on 
the lower surface and containing the same active princi- 
ple, Theine, so characteristic of China tea. The flowers 
or blossoms are small and white, hanging in clusters at 
the angles of the leaves, the fruit or berries being red, 
smooth and similar to those of the common holly. So 
closely does it approach the tea of China in effect, that 
many authorities claim it to be a species of that plant, 
yielding a liquor similar in many respects. But while 
not containing as much volatile oil as the latter, owing 
to the primitive manner in which it is prepared, it 
nevertheless yields a most agreeable and refreshing bev- 
erage, enjoyed by many and forming the staple drink of 
millions of the inhabitants of Paraguay and other South 
American countries. 

Expeditions to collect and prepare it start annually 
from the capital to the Yerbales or groves in the interior, 
taking extra mules and bullocks to bring the dried leaves 
back. On reaching the forests Tatacuas or camps are 
formed by clearing the ground and beating it down with 
heavy mallets until it is sufficiently hard and level for the 
purpose. The leaf in the natural state is from four to 
five inches long, thick, leathery, glossy and serrated at 
the edges, and is prepared for use in a network made 
from raw-hide straps stretched on posts, underneath 
which wood fires are kindled. The leaves and stems, as 
they are collected, are placed on these nets and scorched, 
care being taken only that they do not ignite or burn 
too much in which state they closely resemble senna. 
When sufficiently scorched they are ground, in some 
instances, into a coarse powder in a rude wooden mill, 


weighed and packed for export in large bullock hides, 
holding from 200 to 250 pounds each and left to dry 
and tighten in the sun for a few days, becoming mean- 
while as hard and impervious as stone. This method of 
curing is very defective, as the stems and other extra- 
neous matter imparts a " woody " flavor to the infusion 
which is otherwise very agreeable and refreshing. It is 
prepared for use in a kind of filter or perforated bowl 
called Mate, from which it derives its trade name. The 
infusion is yellowish in color, almost syrupy in body, 
possessing an " herby" or weedy flavor, bitterish in taste, 
much disliked at first by those unaccustomed to its use, 
but nevertheless pleasant, wholesome and refreshing, 
pleasanter still when cold, and while approaching in its 
chemical composition to the regular teas of commerce it 
does not cause the wakefulness or nervousness attributed 
to the latter. 

In the smaller towns and rural districts of South Amer- 
ica it is regarded as a regular form of diet, and not, like 
ordinary tea, a mere accompaniment to the meal, being 
looked upon as a necessary, as well as a luxury, by the 
inhabitants, and is the first thing offered a visitor when 
entering a house, the table being rarely without it. The 
gaucho of the plains will travel for weeks asking no 
better fare than a little dried beef, washed down with 
copious drafts of Mate, the Indian carriers subsisting 
for days together on it alone, in short, being to them 
what the tea of China is to its inhabitants, essential and 
indispensable. The Government has a monopoly of its 
sale, a heavy duty being imposed on its exportation, 
forming the principal source of its revenue. The popular 
method of preparing it in Paraguay is to mix large 
proportions of raw sugar with a decoction made from the 
powder or leaves until a thick syrup is produced, when it is 


ready for drinking, the nourishing properties attributed to 
the infusion by the natives, it is contended, being due, in 
a great measure, to the excess of saccharine matter. It 
ranges in price from four to eight cents per pound in the 
prepared state, one pound yielding as much as twenty 
quarts of the infusion of moderate strength. It is diffi- 
cult to get at any reliable returns for the entire traffic in 
this commodity, the production being carried on in such 
a crude and desultory manner, extending, as it does, over 
a vast area of wild country, the official returns furnishing 
only an approximate estimate of its trade and consump- 
tion. The total production may, however, be computed at 
1,500,000 arobas, equivalent to about 40,000,000 pounds 
per annum, the total consumption averaging thirteen 
pounds per capita to the population, as against two 
pounds of coffee and one-fourth pound of China tea. Its 
use is confined chiefly to Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentine, 
Peru, Chili and Brazil. Its consumption in Paraguay and 
Argentine alone is over 3 5, 000,000 pounds per annum, as 
against 5, 000,000 pounds of coffee. Surprising as this large 
quantity may appear at first sight, it is explained by the 
fact that Mate constitutes the only vegetable nourishment 
of many classes in these communities, forming, as it does, 
the chief dietic beverage of over 20,000,000 of people in 
South America alone. Yet it is singular, to say the 
least, that its consumption should be so great in such 
large coffee-producing countries, and which export 
annually over half the world's supply of that commodity. 
Strong efforts are being made at the present time to open up 
a trade in it in Europe, particularly in France, where the 
cafes now advertise it among their regular beverages, 
and shops devoted to its exclusive sale also recommend 
it. But whether these efforts will succeed remains 
to be proven, considering the enormous increase in the 


production of so many other teas and their established 


A Standard Invoice of Green tea contains a number 
of " Lines," made up as follows : Gunpowder, No. I 
and 2 and 3 ; Imperial, No. I, 2 and 3 ; Young Hyson, 
No. I, 2 and 3. There being rarely more than two lines 
of Hyson, and never more than one of Twankey. 

A " Chop" of Oolongs comprises four, sometimes five, 
" Lines " termed " Firsts," " Seconds," " Thirds," 
" Fourths " and 4< Fifths," when any, which are again 
subdivided into " Brackets " or " Numbers," ranging 
from one to ten but similar in grade. 

An Invoice of " English Breakfast teas " includes a 
quantity of Capers, Pekoes, Congou and Souchong teas, 
graded and classed according to the district of produc- 
tion, by which terms they are best known to trade. 

A Standard Invoice of Japans embrace some Pan-fired, 
Sun-dried and Basket-fired teas with occasionally other 
makes, also ranking according to the different districts. 

A " Break " or " chop " of India or Ceylon include 
Pekoes, Congous, Pekoe-Souchongs, Broken-leaf and 
Fannings, and are best known to trade by their plantation 
names and district appellations. 

The term " Muster " means Sample-package or chest, 
the name on top of label the vessel, route or " chop," the 
initials in centre those of the importer. The names at 
bottom such as "Tong-mow," "Tong-lee," grower or 
packer, and the Chinese character on inside of pack- 
age. " Chop mark," denoting the " chop " or picking, 
which cannot always be relied on, as shippers are apt to 
put on that which has the best reputation, or which 
happens to be most in demand the season of shipping. 


Teas of commerce are subject to four principal 
descriptions of sophistication "Facing" or Col- 
oring with deleterious compounds, in order to 
enhance their appearance ; Substituting with spent, par- 
tially-used or exhausted leaves to increase their bulk and 
reduce the cost ; Mixing or blending with spurious or for- 
eign leaves, and Sanding or adulterating with a variety 
of mineral matter, chiefly iron or steel filings, to add to 
the weight. Each trade has its own special form of adul- 
teration, and as in the milk business the most prevalent 
sophistications are watering and skimming, so in the Tea- 
trade the besetting malpractice is coloring and mixing 
with or substitution of partially-exhausted tea leaves, so 
that the main efforts of experts and tea-analysts should be 
directed more to this form of adulteration. The other 
forms have received some attention from chemists and 
others interested in the article, but not to the extent which 
the importance of the subject merits. But it is against the 
two former most common and dangerous forms of adul- 
teration that the principal efforts of tea-analysts and in- 
spectors should more particularly be directed ; and, while 
considerable of this nefarious and positively injurious 
work is done in the countries of importation, by far the 
greater portion is perpetrated in the countries of produc- 
tion. For consummate skill in the " tricks of trade/' 


the Chinese as a people have long been proverbial. 
" They are a self-ended people," says an old writer, " hav- 
ing the same reputation in Asia that the Jews have in 
Europe." Yet there are strong reasons for stating that 
many dealers in our own and other tea-drinking coun- 
tries have become expert imitators of their methods, 
especially in the minor forms of coloring, mixing, repack- 
ing and refacing. The sophistications in our own country 
being chiefly confined to the admixture of damaged, 
stained and tainted teas with sound, pure or high-grade 
goods, with the object of concealing or disguising their 
defects, and the substitution of one variety for another 
by repacking and relabeling. The latter form being 
practiced to a much greater extent than most people 
imagine, giving rise to a special branch of business in 
nearly all of the larger cities. 


Of the various forms of adulteration practiced in China 
and Japan artificial coloring or " facing " is perhaps the 
most prevalent and glaring. The material used for the 
purpose is usually composed of Prussian blue, gypsum, 
indigo, tumeric, and more frequently, China clay, a whitish 
iridescent powder, resembling mica, variously composed, 
but generally consisting of kaolin (soapstone), and sulphate 
of lime. While that in use in Japan is not known, its com- 
position being a secret, known only to the manufacturers, 
but is evidently a preparation of gypsum and kaolin, the 
Japanese contending that it is a vegetable compound pure 
and simple. That kaolin is used in its preparation can 
hardly be denied, as kaolin contains sulphur, and many 
of the lower grades of Japan teas are found on infusion to 
possess a slightly sulphurous odor. It has been proved, 
however, whatever its nature, to be less harmful and 


injurious than the Chinese compound, and used only in 
the manipulation and sophistication of the lower or com- 
moner grades of tea in that country. 

The process of coloring or facing Green teas is per- 
formed by placing a portion of Prussian blue in a 
porcelain bowl, not unlike a chemist's mortar, and pul- 
verizing it into a fine powder, a small quantity of 
gypsum being meanwhile burned over a charcoal fire, to 
soften it, after which it is ground fine. The two sub- 
stances are next mixed together, in the proportions of 
one part blue to four parts gypsum, both making in 
combination a light-blue preparation, in which state 
it is applied to the leaves during the last process of 
firing, about five minutes prior to removal from the pans, 
the time being regulated by a burning joss stick. The 
Saihoo taking a handful of the compound, scatters it 
over the leaves while in the pans, other operators tossing 
and turning the leaves around rapidly with their hands 
meantime in order that it may equally diffuse among 
them. One ounce of coloring-matter will face fifteen 
pounds of leaves, imparting to them a dull leaden-blue 
hue, and " glossy " or greasy appearance, readily detected 
in the hand. In many districts, most notably in Ningpo 
and Canton, tumeric, kaolin, and China clay are more 
extensively employed for the purpose. This almost trans- 
parent form of adulteration is readily detected in the 
following manner : 

(i) When the tea is heavily coated it may be easily 
recognized by its dull leaden-blue color and greasy 
appearance in the hand, or by placing a small quantity 
of the leaves on a piece of glass or smooth table, on 
removing them the coloring-matter will be found adhering 
to the hands, glass or table, and its nature, whether Prus- 
sian blue, tumeric, kaolin or indigo, readily determined 


with the aid of a microscope. (2) When only lightly 
colored or suspected, place a sample of the leaves in a 
cup or wine-glass and pour on briskly boiling water 
and stir well for two or three minutes, then strain well 
through a thin muslin cloth. The coloring-matter, if 
any, will be found adhering to the cloth, that passing 
through, sticking to the sides, or forming a sediment at 
the bottom of the vessel into which it is strained. If 
these deposits be treated with a preparation of chlorine, 
or a solution of chloride of lime, and turn white, the 
coloring substance used is indigo. But if treated 
with a little potash, and it becomes brown, it will 
prove to be Prussian blue, the application of a little 
sulphuric acid having the effect of turning it blue 

What are known to trade as " Canton Green teas " are 
made from tea-dust and exhausted leaves ground up fine 
and aglutinized with a preparation of gum, glue or other 
starchy substance to unite and hold them together and 
then artificially colored or glared. This fabrication is 
readily detected by crushing the so-called leaves between 
the fingers or rubbing them between the hands, upon which 
they leave a yellowish-brown stain, greasy in nature. 
Or by powdering a small quantity of the alleged leaves 
and treating the dust with a dilution of sulphuric acid it 
becomes very much discolored, and if it assumes a 
leaden-blue color on the application of caustic potash it 
is colored with Prussian blue. Again, place a small 
quantity of the leaves in a cup or glass and pour on 
boiling water, they will immediately begin to disintegrate 
and form a thick, gluey deposit at the bottom of the 
vessel. By treating this precipitate with a little iodine 
the mass will become separated and dissolve into its 
original dust. 



Another reprehensible form of adulteration is the sub- 
stitution or admixture of foreign or spurious leaves ob- 
tained from other plants, which resemble in structure but 
differ widely in character from the true tea-leaf, such as 
those of the willow, plum or ash. Millions of pounds of 
these leaves are annually picked, cured and colored in the 
same manner as tea in China, and used for the purpose of 
increasing the bulk and reducing the cost, while in Eng- 
land, particularly, the leaves of the birch, elm, willow, 
chestnut, poplar and hawthorne have been extensively 
used for the same purpose. The coloring material used 
in the latter country differs from that used in China and 
Japan being still more dangerous and injurious to health. 
This form of adulteration, however, is trivial when com- 
pared with the former one, but, nevertheless, the expert 
and analyst are frequently called upon to deal with it to 
a much greater extent than most people imagine. 

Such foreign leaves in tea may be best detected by 
their botanical character or by the absence of the special 
structural marks which distinguish the genuine tea-leaf 
from that of all other leaves in the vegetable kingdom, 
for while the true leaf bears a strong resemblance to that 
of the willow, ash and plum, it varies, however, in size 
form and structure. The border of the true tea-leaf is 
more regularly serrated, the serration stopping just short 
of the stalk, and the venations are very characteristic, the 
veins running out from the mid-rib almost parallel to one 
another, but altering their course before the border of the 
leaf is reached, and turning so as to leave a bare space 
just within the border of the leaf. So that in making an 
examination of a sample of tea for the purpose of ascer- 
taining whether these distinctive characteristics are 
present in the leaves under treatment, it will be found 



convenient to pour hot water on them so as to soften, 
uncurl and spread them out more easily, as otherwise 
considerable difficulty will be experienced owing to the 
brittleness of the tea-leaves in the dry state. 



The leaf of China Green tea is much broader than 
that of Black in proportion to its length, but not so thick, 
and somewhat accuminate or curled at the apex, that of 
Black being elliptical, oblong and flat in shape, long and 
pointed, that of Green being much shorter and rounder 
in form. 









But in order to better detect the presence of spurious 
leaves in tea a keener knowledge of the botanical formation 
of the true tea-leaf is requisite, for which purpose the use 
of a microscope will be found an invaluable aid. Tea- 
leaves in general construction bear a strong resemblance 
to those of the willow and many other plants of the 
kind, vary widely in size and form, being much smaller, 
more deeply serrated, and ending more regularly just 
short of the stalk. The venations are very characteristic, 
the veins running out from the middle rib, almost parallel 
with each other, altering their course before reaching the 
extremities, and turning so as to leave a bare space within 
the border. When infused and unfolded it is of a bright- 
green color, the loopings together of the principal vein- 
ings in the true leaf being very characteristic. While the 
spurious leaf is either of a greenish-yellow or reddish- 
brown color, and irregular in form under the same con- 
dition. or when deprived of its cosmetics. 


To still better distinguish between them treat a sample 
of the suspected tea as in making an ordinary infusion to 
soften and expand the leaves, then separate and uncurl them 
and lay flat on a piece of glass or other smooth surface 
for comparison with the genuine leaf. Next see that they 
agree in description and formation, but more especially in 
the venations and serrations. Or soak the leaves in hot 
water, and carefully unroll and closely examine their for- 
mation and structure and then compare closely. The 
epidermis of the lower surface of the true leaf can be 
with a little caution detached in small portions with a 
sharp razor, and then analyze the frame or skeleton of 
the leaf in a little water or glycerine, under a microscope, 
comparing the venations and serrations with those of the 
genuine tea-leaf. Still another simple and inexpensive 
test is to boil a few of the suspected leaves for a minute 
or two on a watch glass, with a little distilled water, and 
add an equal portion of burnt magnesia, treating the 
whole until it is reduced to a large-sized drop. If no 
crystalline sublimate is obtained therefrom by the opera- 
tion the leaves cannot be those of genuine tea. 

Chemically an examination of the ash of tea-leaves 
also affords some criteria which may also be utilized for 
the purpose of identifying the true tea-leaf. For instance, 
in common kinds of wood, such as oak, deal and pine, 
the proportion of ash is a few-tenths per cent, of the 
whole, and by taking wood in its ordinary air-dried con- 
dition it contains some 20 to 30 per cent, of moisture. 
Leaves, on the other hand, contain 10, 20 and even 30 
times as much mineral matter, there being doubtless a 
connection between this abundance of mineral matter 
and the active chemical changes which take place in the 
leaves during the growth of the plant. In tea-leaves, 
therefore, as in leaves in general, the ash amounts to a 


considerable percentage, usually averaging about 6 per 
cent., so that a chemical examination of the ash forms an 
important part of the analysis of tea. The proportion 
of ash in all teas is tolerably constant, genuine tea rarely 
yielding so little as 5 and never exceeding 6 per cent, of 
ash on incineration. Therefore, to determine the amount 
of ash, weigh a small quantity of the tea in its ordinary 
commercial state and burn it in a platinum crucible and 
then re-weigh the resultant ash ; by observing a few 
simple precautions very constant and accurate results are 
attainable by this method. The crucible should be clean 
and bright, the lid fitting precisely; an iron triangle, 
covered with a tobacco pipe may be employed to support 
the crucible during ignition. The operation is then 
commenced by igniting the empty crucible, and allowing 
it to cool, being placed for that purpose on a piece of 
porcelain or iron, immediately weighing the crucible on 
becoming cold. Next place one or two grams of tea in 
the crucible, weighing both together, and ignite over a 
spirit lamp or good gas-burner, stirring the contents with 
a platinum wire for a few minutes. When ignition is 
complete the crucible is covered with the lid, let cool 
again and immediately weighed a second time. If there is 
any doubt as to the completeness of the ignition, the cru- 
cible must be again ignited, and if there is no difference in 
weight, the ignition is thereby proved finished. As is 
obvious, in order to obtain accurate results it is 
indispensable that the crucible should be in the 
same condition when it is weighed empty and when 
weighed with the ash, and this is insured by the 
preliminary ignition and rapid re-weighing, as above 

The following determinations of the percentages of 
ash in spurious leaves most used in the adulteration of 


tea, dried after the manner of tea, may serve to illustrate, 
the leaves being gathered towards the end of August : 

Kind of Leaf. Per cent, of Ash. 

Ash, ............... 940 

Plum, ............. . 9.90 

Willow, .............. 9.34 

To these may be appended the determinations of 
Paraguay tea at 28 and the ordinary tea of commerce at 
5.92 per cent. ; while in Peligot's analysis the average pro- 
portions of ash in true tea-leaves is given as follows : 

Kind of Leaf. Per cent, of Ash. 

China Tea, ............. 5.5 

Japan " ........ ...... 5.5 

Java " ........... . . 5.3 

India " ............. 6.06 

Ceylon " ............. 6.06 

Proving, as has been mentioned, that genuine tea-leaves 
as brought direct from the producing countries, or such 
as is a fair commercial article, does not yield less than 
5, or sensibly more than 6 per cent, of ash on incineration. 
When the ash much exceeds 6 per cent, the first question 
to be considered is whether it is accidental or if the high 
yield of ash would be maintained if a larger quantity of 
the sample were incinerated. The composition of the ash 
of genuine tea-leaves has also been carefully studied, 
yielding on analysis the following constituents : 

Constituents. Per cent. 

Soda, ........ * ..... 0.65 

Lime, .............. 4.24 

Potash, .............. 39.22 

Silica, ....... ....... 4.35 

Chlorine, . . ..... ...... 0,8 1 

Magnesia, ............. 6.47 

Oxide of iron, , .......... 4.38 

Carbonic acid, ........... 24.30 

Sulphuric acid, .......... A trace 

Pnosphoric acid, .......... 14-55 

Protoxide of manganese, ....... i .63 

Total, .......... loo.oo 


This analysis is especially important, inasmuch as the 
tea which furnished the ash was of guaranteed purity, so 
that no question of the possibility of its sophistication 
could arise. On examining this analysis it will be 
observed that tea-ash contains a quantity of iron, also 
some manganese, the presence of manganese being so 
marked in tea-ash that on subsequent treatment of the 
ash with water a deep-green solution of manganate is 
obtained. Owing to this presence of manganese in tea- 
ash it also invariably evolves chlorine very perceptibly 
when it is treated with hydrochloric acid. 

If the analysis of the tea-ash is referred to it will be 
noted that more than one-half of it should be soluble in 
water, so that for all practical purposes a complete 
analysis is not requisite, a determination of the ratio of 
soluble to insoluble parts of the ash being sufficient. Such 
a determination is made by boiling the ash several times 
with a little water, filtering and washing the residue in 
the filter, drying the precipitate, igniting and weighing it. 
The weight of the insoluble part of the ash may then be 
subtracted from the weight of the entire ash, in which 
manner both the percentage of the soluble and insoluble 
ish will be conveniently arrived at, in which case the fol- 
lowing determination of the percentage of " soluble " and 
"insoluble ash" in 100 parts of spurious leaves and pure 
tea when completely dried will be of interest here : 

Kind of Leaf. Soluble Ash. Insoluble Ash. 

Ash, 3.19 7.48 

Plum, 5.66 4 24 

Willow 4.16 5.18 

Teas of commerce, 3.55 2.47 

Proving that in spurious leaves the ratio of soluble or 
insoluble ash is very different from what it is in genuine 
tea-leaves, and that an ash of such composition cannot 
be very soluble in water. 


Peligot has also pointed out that tea leaves differ from 
other leaves by their extraordinary richness in nitrogen, 
the prepared leaf being by the process of curing ren- 
dered still more nitrogenous than the raw or spent leaves, 
the former averaging, according to his experiments, 6 
per cent, of nitrogenous matter, and the latter 4.37, so 
that if the tea-leaf be unique in containing such a high 
percentage of nitrogen, it is obvious that a determination 
of nitrogen in tea may also be useful as a method of 

The tea-extract also yields a comparatively large quan- 
tity of ammonia when it is boiled with potash or perman- 
ganate of potash, and it is probable that this character- 
istic may also prove very valuable in the testing of tea. 
A solution containing about 10 per cent, of solid potash, 
free from ammonia and nitrogenous matter is required 
for the purpose, and easily obtained. So that a deficiency 
of theine, a deficiency of nitrogen, and a deficiency of 
ammonia are all indicative of the presence of foreign 
leaves in tea. 


Are principally used in the adulteration of Black teas, 
and is effected by adding or substituting leaves that have 
been at least once used, and from which all the vital 
properties have been extracted. The Chinese being 
inveterate tea-drinkers, large quantities of these leaves 
are always to be had for the purpose, they are re-dried 
and subjected to a treatment of gypsum or terra-japonica, 
in order to make them retain their curl, and then glazed 
or " faced " with a preparation composed of either 
graphite or silica to enhance their appearance ir the 
hand; a decoction obtained from catechu or logwood 
being next added to impart a tea-like color to the liquor 
when infused This vile compound is known to the 


Chinese as " Bastard tea," and is rarely sold alone, being 
used principally for mixing or blending with pure 

The presence of spent or exhausted leaves in either 
Green or Black tea is best determined by estimating the 
amount of tannin contained in the liquor after infusion, 
and for which experiment various tests are in use. A 
large proportion of the tea-extract is found to consist of 
tannin (tannic acid), there being much more in Green 
than in Black tea, the larger portion of that originally 
existing in the latter being dissipated by the extra fer- 
mentation to which this variety is subjected in curing 
and firing. Green teas contain on an average about 15 
per cent, of tannin, Black teas never exceeding 10 per 
cent. This rate, however, varies considerably from differ- 
ent causes, such as age, quality, soil and climatic condi- 
tion of the districts of growth, the main average being 
12 and 9 per cent, respectively in pure teas. Spent or 
exhausted leaves, on the other hand, contain only 2 per 
cent, on an average at the highest estimate, a difference 
of 7 to 10 per cent, of tannin, as will be observed, in 
favor of pure teas. 

For the purpose of estimating the percentage of 
tannin contained in tea, the simplest method is to make 
an infusion of the leaves and pour it into a cup or glass 
and add to it a small quantity of a standard solution of 
plumbic acetate. The acetate will cause the tannin to 
form a precipitate, which must be removed and weighed 
in a small scale fitted for the purpose ; then by taking 
the nominal percentage of tannin contained in pure teas 
at 12 in Green and 10 in Black and 2 per cent, in Spent 
or exhausted leaves, the difference will be the percentage 
of adulteration, the extent being indicated by the lessened 
proportion of tannin in the same ratio. The presence of 


Catechu (soluble salts of iron) is best ascertained by 
making an ordinary infusion of the leaves, allowing the 
liquor to cool and pouring it into a cup or glass. Next 
add a preparation of neutral plumbic acid and separate 
the precipitate formed by the introduction of the chemical 
by filtration, and adding a little argentic nitrate to the fil- 
trate. If catechu be present the residue will turn a dark- 
brown, the liquid meanwhile acquiring a deep yellow hue, 
while under the same conditions the liquor of pure tea will 
remain unaffected. But if the cosmetic be extensively 
employed, a weak solution of ferric-chloride will cause 
the precipitate to turn light-green or it may be detected 
under the microscope if heavily coated. 

Spent and spurious leaves may also be readily detected 
by the "ash test," through the following deductions : Pure 
teas, as shown above, contain from 5 to 6 per cent, of ash 
on incineration, 2 per cent of this being soluble in boil- 
ing water ; any increase of these parts is a certain indica- 
tion of the presence of foreign or exhausted leaves in 
the sample treated. The percentage of ash contained in 
spent leaves, ranging from loto 30, and in spurious leaves 
from 40 to 50, in many instances, while the residue of teas 
adulterated with mineral matter have been known to reach 
as high as 75 to 80 per cent, of the incinerated sample. 
The presence of logwood is best exposed by the addi- 
tion of a few drops of sulphuric acid to an infusion 
made with the leaves in the ordinary way. If any of 
the dye be present this acid will cause the liquid to turn 
a deep red, but if the tea be uncolored the liquor will 
remain entirely unaffected. Graphite being visible to the 
naked eye is easily distinguished by its characteristic 
glossy nature, or can be separated by treating the leaves 
with boiling water in the usual manner and evaporating 
the infusion. The substance, if present, will form a 


deposit at the bottom of the vessel or will be found 
adhering to its sides if used in large quantities. While 
Silica is readily recognized by the increased amount of 
ash insoluble in the water obtained by calcimining a 
sample of the tea so adulterated, as above described. 


Is frequently introduced into tea with the object of add- 
ing weight, and is best detected by the " ash-test." As for- 
merly stated, the leaves of genuine tea, or tea of fair com- 
mercial value, yield from 5 to 6 per cent, of ash or mineral 
matter on incineration, 2 per cent, of which is again solu- 
ble in water. This rate is fairly constant, and ranges from 
5 in Black teas to 6 per cent, in pure Green, rarely yield- 
ing as low as 5 in the former and never exceeding 6 in the 
latter, while many of the teas of commerce are found to 
yield from 13 to 20 per cent, of ash on incineration. 
Such teas are unmistakably sophisticated, and will be 
found, on analysis, to contain sand or other mineral 
matter in their composition. 

To determine the amount of mineral matter contained 
in teas so adulterated, proceed as in the case of spurious 
and spent leaves/which analysis may be again confirmed by 
a determination of the ratio of soluble to insoluble matter 
contained in the ash. The result is obtained by boiling 
the ash in a little water and filtering the precipitate, 
drying, burning, weighing and subtracting the residue or 
insoluble matter from the original weight of the ash. By 
this process both the soluble and insoluble parts are 
ascertained, and if the sample be pure, but 3 to 3 y 2 per 
cent, of insoluble will remain, any increase of these 
figures clearly denoting adulteration to that extent. 

Where the burning of the leaves is inconvenient, the 
following operation may be substituted : Weigh a sample 


of the suspected tea and boil with about ten times its 
weight of water in a porcelain dish or beaker. This boil- 
ing will wash the sand off the leaves and sink to the 
bottom, the leaves floating in the liquid. When the 
liquid has cooled sufficiently, the leaves may be removed 
with the hand, the liquid and sand being poured into a 
filter. The sand is then washed, dried and ignited in a 
platinum plate and weighed, in which manner the amount 
of sand yielded by 50 or 100 grams of tea may be 
actually weighed and ascertained. On examining the 
analysis it will be found that tea-ash contains a quantity 
of iron and some manganese, the presence of the latter 
being so marked in tea-ash, that on subsequent treatment 
of the ash with water a deep green solution of the man- 
ganate is obtained. Owing to the presence of this 
chemical, tea-ash also evolves chlorine very perceptibly, 
particularly when treated with hydrochloric acid. If 
the sample of tea treated yield only the normal percentage 
of ash at the same time contains a considerable quantity 
of silica, such a combination would afford the strongest 
evidence of adulteration. This will be apparent from 
the fact that tea-ash is an essential part of the tea, and if 
a part of the tea-ash be absent, the sample must have 
been deprived of at least the corresponding quantity of tea. 
Spent leaves contain less ash than genuine tea, the aver- 
age being about 3.06 of ash in 100 parts of dried spent 
leaves, and when the ash is deficient, the explanation is 
that the genuine tea has been more or less replaced by 
spent or exhausted leaves. But for all practical purposes 
a complete analysis of tea-ash is not necessary, a deter- 
mination of the ratio of soluble to insoluble portions of 
the ash answering the purpose as well. Such a deter- 
mination is made by boiling the ash several times with a 
little water, filtering and washing the precipitate in the 


filter, drying, igniting and weighing it. The weight of 
the insoluble part of the ash may then be subtracted from 
the original quantity, in which manner the percentage of 
soluble and insoluble ash is obtained. 

Peligot has also pointed out that tea-leaves differ from 
the leaves of other plants by their extraordinary richness 
in nitrogen, the percentage averaging 4.37 percent, in the 
raw leaf of the former, and ranging from 5.10 to 6.60 per 
cent, in the dried state. In the preparation of the fresh 
leaves for market a quantity of juice is expressed from 
them, the increase of nitrogen in the prepared leaf being 
accounted for on the supposition that this juice is not as 
rich in nitrogen as that still remaining in the leaf, and if 
the prepared leaf be unique in containing this high per- 
centage of nitrogen, it is obvious that a determination of 
nitrogen in tea may prove useful as a method of identi- 


Are best detected by pulverizing a sample of the suspected 
tea and spreading the powder on a piece of glass or plate, 
and applying a magnet to the dust. If a quantity of the 
particles gravitate and adhere to it, the tea is undoubtedly 
adulterated in this form. While fabrications and sophis- 
tications in general may be best exposed by treating an 
infusion of the leaves with a watery solution of sulphur- 
etted hydrogen or a weak solution of ammonia. Under 
the first treatment the liquor of pure teas will retain its 
natural color, but will assume a light-blue tint under the 

Another simpler method for those who may not 
have the chemicals or appliances convenient is to place 
a small quantity of tea-leaves in a wine-glass or goblet, 
pour on cold water, and stir or shake well for a few 
minutes. The tea, if pure, will only slightly color the 


water, but if adulterated, a dark-colored liquor is quickly 
yielded, which if boiled and let stand until cold will, if 
spurious, become bitter and almost transparent as it cools, 
while pure tea under the same conditions assumes a 
darker color and pleasing flavor. The latter changes 
arise from the tannin (a natural property in tea) of which 
artificial tea is entirely devoid and adulterated teas in 
proportion. Mineral adulterants, however, must be dealt 
with by the ash-test, which is unerring, spurious leaves 
by their botanical character and structural marks, 
deficiency of tannin being invariably an indication of 
spent or exhausted leaves. 

The part of the tea which we really use being that 
which passes into the infusion, in other words the 
Extract of tea it is natural to look to this extract as 
affording the directest evidence of the quality and 
genuineness of a sample of tea. The extract may be 
regarded both quantitively and qualitively, and from the 
former point of view we are led to the tea-assay or deter- 
mination of the weight of the tea-extract which a given 
weight of tea is capable of yielding. 

In Peligot's analyses we find the following determina- 
tions of the tea-extract the author being quite alive to 
the importance of such a test : 

Part soluble in boiling water. 

Variety. Ordinary 

Dried Leaf. Conditions. 

Imperial .......... 43.1 396 

Gunpowder, ........ 50.2 49-9 

China, .......... 42.8 39.0 

Japan, .......... 45.8 41.5 

India, .......... 45.4 41.7 

Java ........... 35.2 32.7 

Ceylon, . . ....... 44.4 39.8 


These results being arrived at by the employment of a 
valid but rather inconvenient method of weighing out ten 
grams of tea-leaves and boiling them with water as long 
as anything is dissolved out of them, and afterwards dry- 
ing up the exhausted leaves, first at a low temperature 
and then at a higher one, finally weighing the exhausted 
leaves. The loss in weight is the weight of the tea- 
extract, care being taken to weigh the original tea and 
the exhausted tea-leaves in the same state of dry ness. 
The results, as will be observed, are stated both in the 
dried tea and in the tea in its ordinary commercial con- 
dition. But, instead of weighing the tea-leaves before 
and after extraction and taking the difference in weight 
as the weight of the extract there is a more convenient 
process that of evaporating down the extract itself to 
dryness and weighing it. The drying up of the exhausted 
leaves and the getting them into the same hygroscopic 
condition as the original tea presenting considerable prac- 
tical difficulties. 

The evaporation of the infusion to dryness and the 
weighing of the dry extract is also a tedious process in 
its unmodified state. But if a given quantity of tea be 
boiled with successive portions of water no more tea- 
extract is yielded than if the same tea be boiled once 
with a large quantity of water, but whether the infusion 
is kept for a length of time just at the boiling-point or 
whether it be made to boil vigorously makes some differ- 
ence in the result, brisk-boiling extracting about one- 
tenth more than slow boiling, so that if the boiling be 
very vigorous half an hour's boiling is just as effective as 
an hour's slow boiling. 

Founded on these observations an assay of the tea-ex- 
tract may be made by the following simple process : Put 
ten grams of tea into a pint flask and pour on about 


two-thirds of distilled water accurately measured, a cork 
and bent tube is then adapted to the mouth of the flask 
and a connection made with a condenser. The contents 
of the flask are next heated and made to boil strongly. 
That having been done the boiling is stopped and the 
flask and condenser disconnected and the distillate 
poured back into the flask and the decoction of tea 
observed closely. If quite clear fifty grams are weighed 
out and evaporated to dryness in a water-bath and 
weighed till constant. If the decoction be not quite 
clear by this time it is to be filtered hot ; the first small 
filtrate is best thrown away and the filtrate collected, 
weighed, and dried in the water-bath until the residual 
tea-extract becomes quite constant. Having performed 
the operation in the manner directed, the weight of the 
tea-extract actually weighed will be the weight of the 
extract yielded by one gram of the sample to be assayed. 
But in coming to a decision as to the genuineness of 
a sample of tea of which an analysis has been made by 
this method, it is of importance to remember that genuine 
tea is subject to considerable variation in composition. 
The quality and condition of the leaf at the time of 
gathering and the different treatments which it under- 
goes in the process of manufacture, or whether the tea 
is Black or Green, cause the composition to exhibit a 
wide range of variation. Taking the percentage of the 
extract as a basis from which to start, that in genuine tea 
being from 32 up to 50 per cent, in its ordinary com- 
mercial condition. Such being the case, it is obvious 
that a determination of the percentage of extract will 
not enable the expert or analyst to say whether the 
sample of tea be of a lower or higher grade of pure tea, 
or whether it is composed of a high grade of genuine tea 
and a portion of exhausted leaves. In a general way, 


however, this question is not of vital importance to the 
analyst, as a solution may be arrived at from a determi- 
nation of the soluble ash, which would be found rather 
deficient on incineration. For although tea may be 
exceptionally rich in extract, and although there are 
difficulties in the way of deciding whether a given 
sample of tea consists of average quality or of fine tea 
mixed with spent tea, there are no such difficulties in 
recognizing the case of tea of average grade, mixed with 
a considerable quantity of exhausted leaves, as it is 
assumed in this formula that the soluble ash in genuine 
tea is 3.6 per cent, and that in spent tea only 0.3 per 
cent. But in using this formula it must be understood 
that the results are only rough approximations, judgment 
and discrimination being required to determine by it. 

Tea-extract yields a comparatively large quantity of 
ammonia when it is boiled with potash and permanganate 
of potash, and it is probable that this character may 
prove very valuable also in testing the purity of tea, for 
which purpose a solution containing about 10 per cent, 
of solid potash, free from ammonia and nitrogenous 
matter, is required and easily obtained. Ten grams of 
this solution of potash is put into a small flask-retort, 
working in an oil-bath and connected with a small con- 
denser; the whole apparatus to be carefully freed from 
the last traces of ammonia, which is best accomplished 
by distilling the water through it, after which from 5 to 
10 parts of the tea infusion are poured into the retort, 
which is then corked up and heated in an oil-bath to 1 50 C. 
Having been maintained for a short time at this tempera- 
ture it is then lifted out of the bath and some pure water 
poured into the retort, which is again to be heated in the 
oil-bath. More than half of the water is then distilled 
over and in this manner the " free ammonia " is obtained 


from the distillate. When this has been accomplished 
some of the potash and permanganate solution is added 
to the contents of the retort and distilled so as to yield 
a distillate containing " albuminoid ammonia," the result 
being as follows in pure teas : 

Free ammonia, 0.28 milligrams. 

Albuminoid ammonia, 0.43 

Total, .0.71 milligrams. 

While the extract from a sample of spurious leaves 
yielded of 

Free ammonia, . . 0.20 milligrams. 

Albuminoid ammonia, .... 0.295 

Total, O-495 milligrams. 

This experiment is made with the greatest ease, and 
will also be found valuable by brokers and others inter- 
ested in tea for testing the strength of the tea-infusion. 

As has already been observed, tea is also remarkably rich 
in nitrogen, so much so that a determination of nitrogen 
may be resorted to as a means of identification. With 
this object it is best to take a sample of tea, first mixing 
it up well and powder it in a mortar. Of this tea-powder 
some 0.3 grams should be accurately weighed out. This 
is then to be mixed with some 50 grams of oxide of 
copper, which has been first oxidized without the employ- 
ment of nitric acid, and which shortly before using had 
been ignited and allowed to cool. A combustion-tube of 
hard German glass, closed at one end and perfectly clean, 
is next charged as follows : At the closed end a layer, 
some three to four inches in length, of a mixture of dry 
bi-carbonate of soda and fused bi-chromate of potash is 
placed, the mixture being intended to give out carbonic 
acid. Next to this compound place two inches of oxide 
of copper, then the mixture of tea and oxide of copper, 


then more oxide of copper and some clean metallic 
copper on top, then a perforated cork and exit tube, 
which dips under the mercury, and place the combustion- 
tube in an appropriate furnace to heat. By heating the 
layer of carbonate of soda and bi-chromate of potash, 
carbonic acid is caused to traverse the tube and expel the 
air from it. This having been done the tube is next 
heated gradually from before so as to burn up the tea, 
the gases being collected over the mercury. At the end 
of the operation the carbonic acid is once more made to 
traverse the tube by again heating the mixture at the 
back, all the nitrogen being driven from the tube and 
collected. Finally the carbonic acid is absorbed by 
means of the potash and, the residual nitrogen gas is 
measured with well-known precautions. This gas should 
also be tested for bin-oxide of nitrogen by means of 
oxygen and pyro-galate of potash, any bin-oxide of 
nitrogen gas to be measured and allowed for in the test. 

Among the most common forms of adulteration prac- 
ticed by dealers in this country is that of substituting 
old and valueless Young Hysons for Japans or mix- 
ing them together the better to disguise the fraud. The 
mixing or blending of old, stale, weedy or smoky Con- 
gous with Oolongs, particularly when such teas become 
a drug on the market. The reduction of Moyunes by 
the addition of Pingsueys in the proportions of half and 
half and then refacing them as " True Moyunes." The 
refacing of Ningyongs and other Amoys as Formosas 
being still another form, for which at the present low 
prices of the commodity there is not the slightest occasion. 
The most recent " trick " of the tea trade being that of 
mixing Japan Nibs with Twankays and Hysons, the lat- 
ter, I regret to add, being now extensively adopted by at 
one time reputable houses. 


Some law should be passed in this country to ensure 
the public against the possibility of purchasing spurious 
and adulterated teas as in Russia, where the dealers are 
compelled to sell their teas under government labels placed 
on the packages by experts appointed by the Government 
for that particular purpose and who work under official 
inspectors, the expense of examining and labeling 
being defrayed out of the revenue realized from the sale 
of the labels to the dealers. To such an extent was the 
nefarious practice carried on in that country that the 
adoption of this system became imperative in order to 
restore the confidence of the public in the genuineness 
of the tea offered for sale, with the result of having 
materially checked the traffic in spurious and adulterated 
teas in that country. 

is no article handled by the grocer which 
engages more of his time, demands greater 
attention, or has a more important bearing upon 
the success of his business than Tea. In many respects 
it stands ahead of all other commodities in commanding 
and maintaining patronage, also in that it is expected to 
attract and retain trade for other articles, and at the same 
time yield a larger margin of profit. As gain is the funda- 
mental object of business, and as Tea plays such an 
essential part in determining this profit, we may be 
excused if, considering the article from a purely practical 
standpoint, we urge the relation which it bears to the 
success of the dealer in it, and who, as a rule, experience 
more difficulty in the selection of Tea than in any other 
article he trades in. The cause is obvious, being due to 
the numerous varieties and almost innumerable grades, 
characters and flavors with which he is confronted, and to 
be selected from, taken in connection with the diversity of 
tastes and preferences to be catered to, it requiring no ordi- 
nary skill or knowledge to make the proper selection under 
these circumstances to suit patrons. The acquisition of 
such knowledge, for all practical purposes, is not, however, 
quite as difficult as many may suppose, as it can be fairly 
obtained by a little study, a few simple and inexpensive 
experiments and repeated trials to familiarize oneself with 
the leading characteristics and values of the different 


varieties, grades and flavors of the teas best adapted to 
each particular class or section of the country. 

Teas have two values an Intrinsic or real value, and a 
Commercial or market value; quality, strength and flavor 
constituting the first, the latter being more often based 
on style, appearance, supply and fluctuations in price. 
So that in their selection for commercial purposes four 
leading features are to be considered Leaf, Style, 
Liquor and Flavor. The drawing and drinking qualities 
of the tea in the cup are paramount to the style and 
appearance of the leaf in the hand, as many teas, though 
rough-looking and coarse in " make" or style, draw and 
drink well in the infusion. There are five principal 
methods of testing the merits of a tea : 

By Style or Appearance. Which, though not inva- 
riably an indication of merit, has still considerable to do 
with the value and quality of a tea. Choice teas of all 
kinds are however, handsomely made and stylish in 
appearance, that is, compactly if not artistically curled, 
twisted, folded or rolled, according to its make, and all 
teas being small and fine in proportion to their youth and 
tenderness, the ripest and most "sappy" curling up 
tightest and retaining their form longest, consequently 
the younger and fresher the leaves the richer, more juicy 
and succulent the tea. If it be Green tea of the Impe- 
rial or Gunpowder order the leaf is hard-rolled and 
" shotty," regular in make, bright natural green in color, 
very uniform and pleasing in general appearance. But 
if of the Hyson or Young Hyson sorts, the leaf will be 
well and evenly curled or twisted, the latter being almost 
" wirey " in texture and of the same hue as the former. 
If Black, of the Oolong or Congou variety, the leaf will 
be finely made, " silky " or " crapy "in texture and vary- 
ing in size from small to medium, artistically twisted and 


attractive to the eye. Old and inferior teas, on the other 
hand, will be large, rough and loosely rolled or curled, 
in proportion to their age, quality and picking, and being 
partially or entirely devoid of " sap " or succulence, they 
are correspondingly thin, coarse or flavorless in the infused 

By Feeling. Judging a sample of tea by feeling is 
applicable more to the curled, twisted or rolled sorts, 
such as Oolongs, Congous, Souchongs and Hyson 
teas. If the leaves of a tea of these makes, so tested, be 
really choice they will be found smooth, crisp and elastic 
in the hand, and capable of resisting a gentle but firm 
pressure, yielding rather than snapping or breaking under 
it. But if old and " sapless," they will be found rough 
and " chaffy " to the touch, very brittle, cracking easily 
and crumbling under the same conditions, making much 

By Smelling. By blowing or breathing hard upon 
a sample of tea and then quickly catching the odor emitted 
from it a fair estimate of its general character and value 
may be arrived at. To judge by this method, however, 
an acquaintance with the distinctive flavors and peculiari- 
ties of the various sorts ind grades will be first necessary. 
This knowledge is best acquired by adopting as a type or 
" standard " a sample of the tea to be matched and edu- 
cating this sense to its flavor and aroma. It is not for a 
moment claimed that this test will be at all times accurate 
or reliable, and only a general estimate can be formed, 
especially if suffering from a cold, in which case its 
true character or value cannot be even approximated. 
Again, many teas that may be "new and nosey" in 
the hand will be " thin and flat " in the cup, the 
"flashy" or evanescent flavor passing off rapidly on 


By Masticating. A close and almost accurate 
estimate of the character and value of a tea can be 
formed by chewing a few of the leaves. With this 
method a good tea may be recognized by the ready manner 
in which the leaves almost dissolve in the mouth on slight 
mastication, becoming quickly reduced to a "pasty" 
consistency if young, tender and succulent, the " sap " 
or juice yielded will be abundant, pungent and pleasing 
to the taste. If of the Green or Japan variety the 
residue will be of a bright, natural-green color on removal, 
rich olive-green if Oolong, of a rich reddish-brown tint 
if Congou and dark-red if India or Ceylon. But if com- 
posed of old, inferior, spent or spurious leaves they 
will be found difficult to masticate, being dry, " chippy," 
sapless and tough in texture, yielding little or no juice 
according to its age and inferiority. Whatever little is 
expressed being " wild," " weedy," " woody," " herby," 
" mousey," " grassy " or "metallic" and bitterly astringent 
to the taste, the residue being dark in color, coarse or 
granulated on removal. This test should not be resorted 
to only on extreme occasions, as a too frequent chew- 
ing of tea-leaves, owing to the tannin in their composition, 
severely affects the nervous system and ultimately the 
digestive organs. 

By Infusing or Drawing Is unquestionably the 
most reliable and satisfactory method of testing or 
appraising tea, being the one adopted by all brokers, 
experts and dealers as the most conclusive and least in- 
jurious to the system. For this purpose a number of 
small porcelain cups, scales and half-dime weight is 
requisite, together with a perfectly clean kettle and 
freshly distilled or filtered water, briskly boiled. Take 
the weight of the half-dime of leaves and mark the cups 
to correspond with the samples under examination, then 


pour on the briskly boiling water and allow it to draw 
from three to five minutes by the watch, first seeing 
that the cups are thoroughly clean and dry, or, better 
still, heated or rinsed with boiling water before weighing 
or putting in the tea, as cups used for drawing other sorts 
of tea will impart the flavor of those previously tested to 
the last if not properly washed and dried before using 
again ; also see that the water is briskly boiling before 
pouring it on the leaves, as water not properly boiling 
will cause the leaves to float. If large cups are used the 
quantity of leaves should be increased proportionately, 
say to that of a dime in weight for an ordinary tea-cup. 
It is customary with some brokers and tea-testers to cover 
the cups with a lid or saucer during infusion, but this 
precaution is not absolutely necessary; still it has its 
benefits, as it prevents the vapor and aroma from escap- 
ing, both valuable factors in the exact testing of tea. 
The water used should be as soft and pure as can be 
obtained ; boiled briskly and used only at the boiling point. 
That is, it must boil, but not overboil, for if it be allowed 
to do so for even a few minutes it will not extract the 
full strength and flavor of the leaves. Expert tea-testers 
are most particular in this respect, watching their kettles 
so that the water may be used the minute it boils, and if 
any water remains in the kettle it is poured off and 
refilled with fresh water before using again, as the effect 
of using water that has been boiled a second time is the 
same as that of water which has been overboiled. In 
testing teas by infusing or drawing five important 
points are to be considered: Body, Color, Strength, 
Flavor and Aroma of the Liquor, the tea combining 
these qualities in the highest degree proving, of course, 
the best. On removing the lids, if used, inhale the 
vapor slowly, noting its .aroma. at the same time; next 


stir the leaves gently with a spoon for a few minutes, 
and smell them occasionally, also noting their odor ; by 
which time the tea will be cool enough to taste. Before 
doing so, however, observe the color of the liquor an 
important factor in tea a rich straw, golden or corn- 
yellow colored liquor, generally, if not invariably, indicat- 
ing a tea of fine quality, except it be of the Congou, India 
or Ceylon variety. Next, taste the tea by sipping it so as to 
strike the palate, but do not swallow, as it kills the taste, 
and noting its body, flavor, strength and pungency while 
so doing, comparing it with the tea required or to be 
" matched." 

But while a clear, bright, sparkling liquor denotes 
a fine tea it does not always determine its body or 
strength, as many light-liquored teas are full and round 
in body, pungent and " snappy ;" others again, though 
dark and heavy in liquor, are yet devoid of strength and 
flavor, the liquor of old and inferior teas being invaria- 
bly dark, thick or " muddy " in color, and lacking 
in briskness and flavor. After an opinion has been 
formed of the liquor in all its relations, next examine the 
infused leaves with regard to their size, color, form, tex- 
ture and condition, as all these points have an indirect 
bearing on the age, quality, character and value of the 
tea under examination. The infused leaves of fine, pure 
teas range from small to medium in size, perfect or nearly 
so in shape, regular and symmetrical in form, uniform and 
unbroken in appearance. While the infused leaf of low- 
grade and adulterated teas is large and dark-red or brown 
in color, broken, irregular and different in size, form 
and color from the true tea-leaf. The smaller, brighter 
and more symmetrical the infused leaf, the higher the 
grade, and consequently the greater the value of the tea, 
that of fine Oolongs being olive-green, with slightly brown 


or " burnt " edges, Congous and Souchongs rich reddish- 
brown, India and Ceylons, " salmony-red." Scented teas 
possessing a small olive-green infused leaf. In Green teas 
those yielding a bright, sparkling, "amber "-colored 
liquor, with small or medium infused leaf and presenting 
an unbroken and uniform appearance are the best; the 
same rules that govern in the selection of Green teas 
also applying to Japans. 

The value of tea commercially, depends principally 
upon the character and flavor of the infusion and also 
on the aroma imparted to it by the volatile oil, which is 
not generally estimated by chemists owing to the imper- 
fect methods of obtaining it and the difficulty attending 
the operation. But commercially the value of a tea is 
based on the amount of " extract " it yields as well as on 
the quantity of theine and tannin contained therein. Tea- 
testers and experts on the other hand take no account of 
theine, which is almost tasteless, but which is at the same 
time physiologically the most important constituent of 
tea. And so far as total extract is concerned Congou 
teas are inferior in quantity to Oolongs, Greens and 
Japans, while the latter in turn yield a larger percentage 
of theine than either India or Ceylons, notwithstanding 
that it is claimed that they yield less. Yet it must be 
admitted that a deeper color is imparted to the infusion 
by India and Ceylon teas, and that they are also of greater 
strength than China and Japan teas, in fullness (not deli- 
cacy) of flavor, the former claim is not borne out by either 
analysis or testing. There is also no uniform relation ex- 
isting between the chemical composition of teas and their 
commercial value, as the percentage of extract determined 
by a half-hour's boiling of the leaves in 100 parts of dis- 
tilled water bears in China and Japan teas particularly 
a more uniform relation to the price, although the total 


extract obtained by exhausting the leaf is very irregular. 
This result is also quite in accord with the fact that the 
finer and more valuable qualities of all teas are to be 
found only in the youngest and tenderest leaves, the 
decline from the finer to the lower grades in the amount 
of theine dissolved being also noteworthy as showing the 
power to yield nearly all their theine, the latter doing 
so only to a limited extent under the same treatment. 
But although these results show the difference in the 
drawing qualities of all the various kinds of tea, yet they 
are not sufficiently uniform to make such analysis the 
basis for calculating the price of tea. It is evident, 
however, that the volatile or essential oil to which tea 
owes it flavor and aroma plays a more important part 
than any of the other constituents in determining the 
commercial value of tea. Again, it must be noted the 
strength and flavor of the infusion is as much due to the 
character of the water used in drawing as to any other 
cause, the quantity of tannin extracted by soft water 
being greater than that obtained by the use of hard. 

The taste for tea being an acquired and not a natural 
one, it necessarily follows that persons who have been 
accustomed to a certain variety or flavor in tea, want 
that particular kind and will be dissatisfied if any other 
is given them. Consumers of wine have their fancies, so 
have users of ale or beer one prefers a dry, another a 
sweet wine one a mild and another a bitter beer. This 
being the case, it becomes essential to the success of the 
tea-dealer to study and learn what variety of tea or what 
particular flavor his customers have been accustomed to 
before attempting to cater to it. This is a question some- 
what difficult to answer, as not only is there a wide 
difference of taste in tea in the different parts of the 
country, but in every large town or city alone the varieties 


and flavors in demand are so numerous and various that 
most dealers are compelled to mark out a distinct line 
for themselves. In the larger cities this is the most 
successful course to pursue, particularly if the kind and 
quality of the tea be kept regular and uniform the year 
round, as it secures the return again and again of the 
same customers for that particular tea, and thus keeps a 
business always steady and progressive. Even away 
from the larger cities it is well to follow this course, but 
while at first it may be found advisable to keep close 
to the established tea-taste of the section, a gradual 
change may be found good policy, as a dealer can 
by a little effort educate his trade in time to a particular 
variety or flavor of tea, for after all is said, and as 
remarked before, the taste for a certain tea is only an 
acquired one. He may, for instance, be selling a heavy- 
bodied Amoy or dark-leaved Foochow Oolong and 
suddenly change off to a fine Formosa. In such a 
case his trade would be very apt to find fault at first, 
notwithstanding that the latter may be choicer and more 
expensive than the former, but by ignoring the complaints 
at the beginning and continuing to insist upon their tak- 
ing it, eventually succeed in educating them to acquire a 
taste for it. Still the importance of retaining and main- 
taining the quality and flavor to which his customers 
are longest accustomed cannot be overestimated, for no 
dealer can afford to jeopardize his business or can expect 
success if his teas one month consist of fine flavored 
teas, the next month of heavy and dull and the third of 
a sharp and pungent kind. To maintain this necessary 
regularity, must be admitted, is difficult, as no two con- 
secutive importations of tea are exactly alike although 
selected from the same picking or chosen from those 
grown in the same district the variations may still be so 


wide as to cause dissatisfaction among consumers. There- 
fore it becomes essential to the success of the dealer to 
pay particular attention to .the quality of his tea, as 
there is no article he deals in which will attract trade or 
retain it longer than good tea, a fine tea creating more 
comment in a town or neighborhood than any other article 
used at table and if customers once lose confidence in either 
the ability or honesty of the dealer they will be repelled 
rather than attracted, it being next to impossible to get 
them back again. So that it does not pay a dealer to 
make any mistake in the selection of his teas, such mistake 
proving fatal to drawing or holding trade. Poor teas will 
drive more customers away in a week than can be made 
in a year ; it is therefore much better and more profitable 
in the long run to sell only good teas at a smaller margin 
of profit than to sell poor teas at a larger one. Many 
dealers make use of the argument, "I bought this tea so 
much cheaper and my customers do not appear to notice 
the difference ; they do not complain." This may be true, 
but it is delusive, as people seldom complain ; they go 
elsewhere and get better value. Every community be- 
comes accustomed to drinking a particular description of 
tea and is quick to discover any change in the character 
and flavor of any tea that may be substituted for it, thereby 
becoming dissatisfied notwithstanding that even a higher- 
priced tea, of different character, may be given them. For 
this reason the dealer will do well to keep as close to the 
grade and variety in use there and as nearly uniform as 
possible at all times maintaining a " standard." To do 
this effectually it will be necessary for him to study and 
learn as near as he can the particular grade and flavor 
his trade prefers, which is best accomplished by first 
trying them with various kinds until he has found that 
which is best suited to a majority of his customers; having 


succeeded in this, let him stick to that particular kind. 
Again, as any one variety will not suit all tastes, he can 
next endeavor to find a tea adapted to the minority by 
the same method, reserving and keeping these two or 
more kinds as the case may be. It is much easier 
to describe what teas to avoid than those to select or 
what may be best adapted to a particular section, as good 
tea of all kinds will sell at any time. 

Again, some sections of the country possess great 
advantages over others in the testing and preparation of 
tea for use, as, wherever the water is soft and pure, much 
better results are obtained from the infusion by a given 
quantity of leaves, owing to the fact that such water dis- 
solves more rapidly and extracts a larger amount of the 
theine than hard or muddy water. The coarse as well as 
fine properties of the tea are also " brought out " more 
prominently by the action of the former, it being for this 
reason that " high-fired," "toasty " and "tarry" teas so 
much in favor in some sections will not sell at all in 
others where the water is soft as a rule, and why China 
Congous are best appreciated in sections where the water 
is soft, as the natural delicacy of their unique " fruity " 
flavor is best extracted by that kind of water and to a 
greater extent than is the flavor of most other varieties. 

The distinctive flavors which characterize the different 
varieties of tea may be summed up in a single technical 
term Amoys are " nutty," Foochows are " mellow," 
Formosas are "fragrant," Green teas are "pungent," 
Pekoes are " piquant," Congous are " fruity," Souchongs 
are " tarry," Japans are " mealy," Scented teas are " aro- 
matic," Indias are " malty," Ceylons are " toasty " and 
Javas are " sour." Oolongs of an " herby," " weedy " 
or " wild " flavor should be avoided, as they are princi- 
pally mixed with Ankois. Ping-sueys, Cantons and all 


doctored Green teas should be tabooed altogether; if 
cheap Green teas must be had, procure a low-grade 
Moyune regardless of its appearance, as it will give 
better satisfaction than the finest of the foregoing. Japans 
of a "fishy," "grassy" or " metallic" flavor should also 
be shunned, as they will be found dear at almost any price. 
Congous of a " woody," " mousey " or " smoky " flavor 
and too " tarry " Souchongs are also good teas to leave 
alone, while Canton and Macao Scented teas should never 
find a place in the dealer's stock. Low-grade India, Ceylon 
and Javas are either "raw," "uncooked," "baked," 
" burnt " or " sour " in flavor, and decay very rapidly 
being unfit for use after a few weeks' exposure. In 
brief, do not handle any old, raw, grassy, weedy, 
woody, smoky, fishy or brassy flavored teas under 
any circumstances. There is no satisfaction in them 
to the consumer and no profit in them to the dealer. 
Keep good teas only and get your price. It pays best 
in the end. 

A tea-dealer with any desire to extend or even 
retain his trade should no more attempt to sell poor, 
inferior, "unclean or damaged tea than a butcher to 
endeavor to sell tainted meat or a baker to give his 
customers sour bread. The offense may not at first seem 
so objectionable, but the verdict of the public will be the 
same in each case, and the practical manner in which his 
customers will manifest this- opinion will be to let such 
dealer severely alone. Good clean teas can nearly 
always be purchased for a few cents per pound above 
the price of the " trash " now offered in the American 
market and masquerading under the name of tea, being 
nothing more or less than a gross libel on the " fascinat- 
ing beverage." By this mistaken policy of trying to save 
three or four cents, the seed is not only sown for the 


future ruin of the dealer himself, but it also produces the 
effect of disgusting the public and casting discredit on 
tea as an article of food. While, on the other hand, if the 
dealer make a comparatively small but necessary sacrifice 
for the sake of future gain by selling Tea that is tea and 
be content with a fair and legitimate profit, satisfaction will 
be given to his customers, trade fostered and the con- 
sumption of this now most important food auxiliary 
increased at least two-fold in this country. 

" Standard Chop," or " celebrated district " teas, should 
always be selected when possible, and " first-crop" for high- 
grade teas, as first-crop teas are invariably superior (ex- 
cept in the case of Formosas) to the later pickings in flavor, 
aroma and keeping properties, due to the larger amount 
of theine and volatile oil which they contain, and possess- 
ing every quality except weight for which tea is valued 
or appreciated. To do this it will be necessary for the 
dealer to ascertain which " chop " is the best and which 
district has yielded the best picking during the current 
season, thereby making quality as well as quantity the 
test of excellence. For, as with wheat and other 
crops, the tea crop also varies according to the season 
and curing ; some years being highly successful in one 
district while it may be a comparative failure in another, 
The " Tong-lees" may be heavy and flavory this year, 
thin and flavorless the next ; while the " Tong-mows," 
or some other " chop," inferior in leaf and liquor 
last season may possess all the most desirable qualities 
this. Green teas, Japans, Congous, Souchongs, India, 
Ceylons and all varieties of tea being equally subject to 
these variations So that the advantages to be derived 
from a careful selection of the best " chop " and " district" 
teas of the season, with but slight consideration, will be 
manifest to the intelligent dealer in tea. 


The tastes of communities differing so widely in the 
various sections of the country, the dealer must study 
and learn the particular variety and flavor best adapted to 
the locality or town in which he is doing business, as a 
tea that may give general satisfaction in one section may 
not suit at all in another. But generally in mining, mill- 
ing or manufacturing districts or among working classes 
in cities, heavy-bodied Amoys and dark-leaved Foo- 
chous will be found the most popular. The taste for 
China and Japan teas in this country is undoubtedly an 
inherited one, but irrespective of this cause they are for the 
vast majority of tea-drinkers peculiarly the most suitable 
and best adapted, being softer, milder, richer, more 
mellow and wholesome than either the India or Ceylon 
growths, and it is only a cultivated and refined taste that 
can appreciate them at their true worth. In a com- 
munity composed principally of Irish, English or Scotch, 
thick "fruity" Congous, heavy-bodied "tarry" Sou- 
chongs, Capers, Pekoes, India and Ceylon teas or com- 
binations formed from these varieties will prove the most 
satisfactory. While Green teas are most in demand in 
the Southern States. Oolongs in the Eastern and Middle, 
Foochows and Formosas being chiefly sold in the 
larger seaboard cities, Amoys in the principal manu- 
facturing districts, Japans in the Pacific and North- 
western, India, Ceylons and teas of the Congou order, 
in Irish, English and other foreign settlements. 

All teas after ripening have a tendency to decay, some 
teas not keeping as well as others, there being a great 
difference in the time that some will keep before the 
deterioration becomes pronounced in comparison with 
that of others. And tea also possessing an natural apti- 
tude to become impregnated with the odor of any high 
or foul-smelling article near which it may be placed, care 


should be taken to keep it away from such commodities 
as fish, soap, coal-oil, molasses and spices, as it quickly 
absorbs all pungent odors. Yet I have known of teas 
that were imported with or stored in close proximity 
to wine, oranges, lemons and even camphor to be im- 
proved in flavor, more particularly when very lightly 
tainted by such odors. Still teas should be kept as much 
as possible from the light and air, particularly in damp 
or humid weather, as the oxydizing influences of the 
atmosphere has a more or less deleterious effect upon 
them. They should never be sold out of freshly-painted 
bins or newly-japanned tea-caddies, being much better, at 
all times, to deal them out of the original packages, repla- 
cing the lead and lid when through. The most successful 
tea-dealers I have met invariably sell them in this manner. 
Do not keep your teas too close to a fire or stove, a dry, 
cool atmosphere of moderate temperature is always best. 
The tea-market fluctuating considerably in the course of 
the year, it will be necessary for the dealer to understand 
something of the law of supply and demand, which 
affects the fluctuation to a considerable. extent, before he 
can make profitable purchases. The dealer who is 
best " posted " in his business makes the best busi- 
ness man, so that the tea-dealer who not only under- 
stands the article he is dealing in, but whose knowledge 
and discrimination enable him "to buy the right tea 
at the right time " possesses advantages over his com- 
petitors, the value of which can hardly be overesti- 
mated. Each season, on the " first arrivals," high 
prices are paid, and if there be a brisk demand those full 
prices are continued for some time, after which follows a 
dull, drooping or listless market, from which but little 
satisfaction can be obtained ; but should the demand on 
arrival be light, through dealers holding off for better 


terms, the prices rapidly decline to a more reasonable 
level, it then becomes comparatively steady. When this 
is the case the decline occurs about the middle of 
September, and dealers will do well to take advantage of 
the choice selections of teas that arrive during the 
months of October and November. For the better buy- 
ing of teas at this time it will also be found necessary to 
note the supply very closely, as during heavy shipments 
the market is nearly always easier, while, when the 
arrivals are light, the tea-market is higher. These 
points are deserving the special attention of the success- 
ful tea-dealer. 

For some years past a new development of the tea 
trade has, to the surprise of the older wholesale and retail 
dealers, assumed a good deal of prominence, for if the 
advertisement columns of newspapers, startling placards 
at railroad stations and on fences form any criterion, the 
public are taking a liking to teas put up in pound and 
half-pound packages under fancy names the latter hav- 
ing no relation whatever to any country, district or locality 
where the teas are grown. That the public should, to a 
certain extent, buy anything persistently forced upon its 
attention is perhaps possible, but tea put up in tin, lead 
or paper packets would seem a somewhat hopeless 
direction in which to attempt to draw the public taste. 
Tea in bulk, in the original lead-lined chests, undoubt- 
edly keeps better, as it preserves the strength, flavor 
and aroma of the tea longer than when exposed to the 
oxydizing influence of the atmosphere, particularly 
in this climate, so that during transference into the tin, 
paper or unseasoned lead packet, ornamented with a 
"showy" label which the more gorgeous the more apt 
it is to communicate a taste of the ink, paint, glue or 
material in which it is packed to the tea they are intended 


to adorn. Again, these packets, labels and labor add as 
much as five to eight cents to the cost of the tea, together 
with the expense of flaunting them before the eyes of 
the public, which must be simply enormous. The public 
generally are ignorant in such matters, and the legitimate 
dealer might look with amused surprise on the apparent 
demand for packet teas if it were not that an increasing 
number of dealers are adopting the new system. Engaged 
as most of the grocers are in trying to stop the plague of 
all sorts of proprietary goods which yield them so little 
profit and make them the servants only of the manufac- 
turers and proprietors, it is astonishing, to say the 
least, that other dealers should be found who are adopting 
the same system with tea. A grocer cannot manufacture 
spices or sugar, grow wine, distil whisky or brew beer, 
but he can, as generations of grocers have done before him, 
sell good tea out of an honest tea-chest, or caddy 
and make a respectable living, if not money, out of it for 
himself and not for others, while serving the public well at 
the same time. Surely, the attitude of the grocers on this 
question should not be one of doubt, as they have it in their 
power to make it clear to the public that they can sell 
cheaper, better aud fresher teas of their own, and with a 
far better guarantee of the source of supply named or 
adhered to than if a paper or metallic packet with a fancy 
label, however attractive, is trusted to. Again, there can be 
no valid reason why every grocer, if he sees fit, should not 
put his own teas up and offer them under his own name 
and brand upon it, if his patrons should desire, a fancy and 
costly packet with no other advantages attaching to it. 


Comparatively little is known of the art or principle 
of mixing or blending of teas in this country, American 


dealers and consumers alike being averse to the practice, 
regarding it as about on a parity with other methods of 
sophistication. Such objections are entirely erroneous, 
as it is an acknowledged principle that a combination of 
different varieties of wheat make better flour, the same 
being true of coffees and other articles of diet. So 
that the practice of blending teas, if properly under- 
stood and skillfully performed, would prove a more satis- 
factory and profitable one to both consumer and dealer. 
The object is not, as the public may imagine, to lower the 
quality or reduce the cost to the dealer, but simply to 
produce better tea and obtain a finer and more desir- 
able flavor than that yielded by any single variety, one 
giving better satisfaction to the consumer at a more 
moderate price and at the same time allowing a larger 
margin of profit to the dealer. As an illustration, a 
dealer may be selling a tea possessing a suitable flavor, 
but be lacking in body or light in liquor, whereas, by 
adding to it one or two other teas possessing these 
qualities the defect is rectified and a full-flavored heavy- 
bodied tea is produced and the two latter also improved. 
It follows then that by the judicious blending or mixing 
of three to five teas, differing in variety and grade, a more 
uniform and pleasing tea, heavier in body, richer in liquor 
and flavor can be obtained by this principle at a more 
moderate cost. 

The idea of blending teas originally arose from the 
experience incidentally gained that a beverage more 
pleasing, satisfactory and less costly, could be produced 
from a number of different varieties and grades judi- 
ciously and scientifically combined, than could otherwise 
be obtained from any single sort when used alone. No 
sooner was this experience confirmed than " mixing " or 
blending of teas was generally resorted to by many of 


those who had the dispensing of the article to the public. 
Some dealers had marked success in this branch of the 
business, while others again who attempted it failed com- 
pletely in their efforts to produce any satisfactory results, 
the end accomplished being, instead of an improvement, 
an injury to the quality and value of the tea combined, 
often to such an extent that ordinary plain teas would 
have pleased better at less labor and cost. The cause of 
this failure was due alone to the want of that necessary 
training and experience which would enable the dealer 
to understand the characteristics and affinities of both 
the teas which are improved and those which are deteri- 
orated by blending together. The knowledge and skill 
required for this particular branch of the tea business is 
only attained in perfection by numerous tests and con- 
stant experiments which are performed by mixing from 
two to five or more samples of tea, differing in variety, 
character and quality, alternately changing, altering and 
substituting them until the dealer has succeeded in pro- 
ducing a tea unique in character, the body, flavor and 
aroma of which will prove more pleasing and satisfactory 
to a majority of his patrons, at a more moderate cost, 
identified with himself and differing in every respect from 
that of any tea offered by his competitors. And after he 
has succeeded in his efforts he must be careful to keep 
it as uniform as possible, never allowing even his em- 
ployees to know of what teas his combination is formed. 
By following these precautions he becomes noted for keep- 
ing a tea that cannot be secured elsewhere and one which, 
after his customers become once educated to that especial 
flavor, will not be satisfied with any other. 

" The world moves " and the American tea dealer 
should move with it, as time and experience has proved 
beyond dispute that skilful and judicious Tea-blending 


will be found to amply repay the study and labor bestowed 
on it. The chief and only difficulty existing in the art 
lays in first finding a combination that will please a ma- 
jority of your customers. The primary object and funda- 
mental principle should be to obtain in a consolidated 
form, harmony, strength, pungency, flavor and piquancy 
and at the same time to effect these results with the small- 
est possible outlay. To accomplish these results three 
important points must be carefully studied : First, to 
learn the taste of your customers ; second, to ascertain 
what teas combine best to suit this taste; third, to find 
out to what extent the component parts of a once adopted 
and satisfactory blend may be varied in case of difficulty 
to secure the same kind of teas for future use. These 
results can be best secured only by proper selecting, 
weighing, regulating and arranging the proportionate 
quantities and different qualities in such a manner as to 
obtain the best results at the smallest possible outlay. So 
that before proceeding to produce a specific blend or 
mixture the dealer must consider well the descriptions 
which will combine satisfactorily and these that will not 
unite harmoniously, as teas that are not improved are 
certain to be deteriorated by blending. 

The chief art in successful tea-blending is to combine 
body, strength and some particular and distinct flavor in 
one, so as to please the majority of that portion of the pub- 
lic for whom the tea is prepared, and at the same time so 
arrange its constituent parts in such a manner that this 
desirable result may be obtained at the smallest possible 
outlay. To satisfactorily accomplish this object the 
dealer must first learn to understand thoroughly the 
taste of those for whom the tea is intended, and secondly, 
to study what teas will combine best to please their 
taste, as well as to know how far the component parts of 


the blend can be varied without seriously affecting its 
regularity so that advantage may be taken of the 
cheapness of any special variety or grade of tea. The 
importance of retaining the uniformity of a blend, when 
once a satisfactory combination has been discovered, 
must also not be overlooked. Other combinations may 
be as good, or better, their component parts skilfully 
arranged and properly mixed, but unless one standard 
blend is decided on, and then sedulously maintained, 
fault will be found and customers go elsewhere. This 
difficulty is best avoided by paying proper attention to 
the selection of the teas constituting the blend, having 
each sample matched as close as possible before purchas- 
ing, as well as by not changing more than one of the 
teas composing the blend at a time when it is the inten- 
tion to alter the character of the tea. When a large 
number of teas are used in the formation of a blend, the 
alteration of any provided that a particular one is fairly 
matched will effect but a comparatively slight variation 
in its general character. But, if more than one change 
is to be made let it be done by degrees, for, if the changes 
in the various teas forming the blend are made gradually, 
few, if any, will detect the alteration. 

The proper Blending of tea is an art that cannot be 
correctly taught in books or easily learned, it must be 
acquired by study, experiment and experience alone. 
Like all other knowledge there is " no royal road to it " 
the dealer must endeavor to learn himself, to understand 
the flavors, characters and affinities of the teas that will 
be either improved or deteriorated by combination, as 
no absolute rule can be substituted for the practical 
knowledge so acquired. In the proper blending of teas 
it is essential also that all combinations should be judi- 
ciously and thoroughly mixed together, the leaves of the 


component parts being selected with due regard to size, 
color and uniformity and broken as little as possible so 
that all may harmonize well together. It is a serious 
mistake to imagine that the successful or profitable 
blending of tea consists solely of an indiscriminate or 
injudicious heaping together carelessly and indifferently 
of two or more varieties of tea in one homogene- 
ous mass without the least regard to quantities, qualities, 
affinities, affiliations or assimilations of leaf, liquor, 
character or flavor of the component parts. On the 
contrary, the art consists in combining the two or 
more different varieties or grades of tea forming the 
combination in an intelligent, judicious and scientific 
manner so as to yield an unique and particular tea of 
uniform quality, strength, flavor and pungency at a given 
price, pleasing and satisfactory to the greatest number and 
maintaining its standard at all times and under all 

But while it is admitted that it is next to impossible to 
understand tea-blending thoroughly without an ap- 
prenticeship to the business and that the combinations 
that may be formed from it are almost kaleidescopic in 
their range, requiring a separate work. Still, even a 
novice need not spoil good tea by injudicious mixing, as 
a little study and a few simple rules carefully followed, 
although they cannot be substituted for years of ex- 
perience in such a difficult branch, will prevent any 
serious error and ensure a fair measure of success. It 
must be understood at the outset that all combinations 
of tea, as a rule, must depend upon the character, flavor 
and grade of the tea most in demand in the section or 
neighborhood of the dealer, that particular variety form- 
ing the base or foundation of the blends prepared, that 
is, it must dominate the combination. To illustrate, if 


Oolongs be most in demand, the blend must be composed 
of from one-half to two-thirds Oolong, and so on with Con- 
gous, Greens, Japans or India sorts, as the case may be. 
Before proceeding to describe any particular blends it 
will be necessary to name the descriptions of tea that will 
not combine satisfactorily, as well as those which will 
amalgamate most harmoniously with each other. The 
former are described first, because teas not improved are 
certain to be deteriorated by blending. One of the first and 
fundamental rules in tea-blending is not to allow unclean 
or tainted tea, even in small quantities, to be introduced 
into any combination, which rule should be as rigidly 
adhered to in the low-priced blends as well in the higher 
grades, so that all " weedy," " herby " and " wild " fla- 
vored Oolongs should be eschewed in blending. 

In this country, where the taste for Oolong and Japan 
teas appear to be an inherited one, and where there is 
every prospect of their continuing to be the favorite teas 
with American consumers for all time to come, the best 
results are to be obtained from combinations formed of 
these varieties. Ripe, juicy and succulent "first crop" 
Foochows make the best foundation for all blends in this 
country. First-crop Formosas losing their fragrance 
almost as rapidly as Japans. Third-crop, or "Autumn- 
leaf" Formosas that have been well-fired, and which, un- 
like most other varieties, improve rather than deteriorate 
with time, becoming more " mellow " for at least the first 
year after arrival, rank next for this purpose, the action 
of the atmosphere in exposure bringing out their fra- 
grance more fully, and at the same time causing their high- 
toast or burnt flavor to disappear. Bold-leaf, sweet-draw- 
ing Amoys; dark-leaved, full-liquoring Foochows, and 
large-leaf " nosey " Formosas and thick, sweet, " fruity" 
Congous make the best founda-tion for all tea blends, and 


for the purpose of imparting a rich fragrance to any com- 
bination a choice or " pekoed " Formosa will be found the 
most desirable and valuable, its high character and great 
piquancy being possessed by no other variety grown. A 
small quantity of a really choice or even tolerably good 
Formosa tea will penetrate and dominate a blend, making 
itself felt and tasting through it. Its value consisting in its 
delicate " cow-slip " aroma and great piquancy, mellow- 
ing the liquor and giving a rich " bouquet " to the infusion. 
It is also a tea that when once tea-drinkers become edu- 
cated or attached to its matchless qualities are ever after 
hard to please with any other. 

Low-grade and artificially-colored Pan-fired Japans, 
owing to their usually " brassy " or " fishy " flavor, and 
well-known tendency to early decay, which has a highly 
detrimental effect on the other teas should be avoided, 
while new, " mealy," Basket-fired Japans are especially 
adapted for all Black tea blends, as they impart a pecu- 
liarly rich color and tone to the liquor and a very 
pleasing mellowness to the flavor of the combination, 
but should never form the base of the blend. " Old," 
" musty," " mousey," or " smoky " Congous, too " high- 
fired" and excessively "tarry" Souchongs should also 
be avoided altogether, as they invariably detract from or 
destroy the flavor and aroma of the finer kinds used in 
the blend, their deleterious effects being felt through the 
entire combination, and all " dusty " and " stemmy " teas 
in particular, for while some tea-drinkers will bear with a 
small quantity of these most objectionable features in tea, 
the vast majority will protest, as it is next to impossible 
to prevent dust and stems from finding their way into 
the tea-cup. 

The appended formulas are not given with the intention 
of laying down any fixed or positive rules, but simply as 


suggesting a code that may be useful to those who are 
compelled to blend tea without ever having an oppor- 
tunity of thoroughly mastering the art. Only two to five 
varieties, at current prices, are used, in order to illustrate 
the principle more simply, as more complex combina- 
tions should not be attempted until the dealer has 
acquired that practical knowledge attained only by 
experiment and experience. 


1. (Low-priced) Suitable for restaurant and general 
trade where a cheap, heavy-bodied and strong- 
flavored tea is the main consideration. Base 10 pounds 
Amoy Oolong at 20 cents, 2 pounds Oonfa or other 
dark-leaved Congou at 20 cents. Average cost 20 
cents. In the Oolong forming this blend a little coarse- 
ness may be tolerated, but " herby " and " weedy " teas 
must be avoided, as what strength is needed is supplied by 
the Congou, which must be free from any suspicion of 
oldness. The color of the leaf, however, must be black, 
so as to harmonize with that of the Oolong. If not 
sufficiently pungent, the addition of I pound low-priced 
Assam will supply that defect. 

2. (Medium) Base 10 pound Foochow Oolong at 
25 cents, 2 pounds basket-fired Japan at 25 cents and I 
pound Ning-chow Congou. Average cost 25 cents. 
This will be found a popular tea in a mining or manu- 
facturing district where a smooth-flavored substantial 
tea is required, or 10 pounds Ningyong Oolong at about 
20 cents, 2 pounds Congou at 24 cents and I pound 
Assam at 24 cents may be tried if the former should 
not prove entirely satisfactory. This combination makes 
a heavy-bodied, dark-colored "grippy" tea; one that will 
stand a second drawing and still be strong and flavory. 


The Ningyong used in this combination should be light, 
clean and as sweet-drawing as can be had at the price 
and the Congou as " high-toasted " as possible, and if the 
Assam be " pekoed " so much the better. 

3. (Medium to Fine) Is a tea that has been found 
to give almost universal satisfaction in a district composed 
of a working class who appreciate smoothness and rich- 
ness to weight or strength, and is formed as follows : 10 
pounds fine dark-leaved Foochow Oolong at 30, 2 
pounds Basket-fired Japan at 25 and I pound Moning 
Congou at 25 cents. Average cost 29 cents. Or where 
Oolongs are most in demand 10 pounds Foochow, 10 
pounds Formosa and 5 pounds Basket-fired to mellow 
or tone the combination may be substituted, 5 pounds of 
a true Moyune Young Hyson to replace the Japan when 
a Green tea is preferred in the blend, or, better still, added 
to it. The Foochow in this combination while possess- 
ing a full body is yet lacking in aroma which is imparted 
by the Formosa, the Japan supplying the mellowness and 
Young Hyson the requisite pungency. 

4. (Fine to Choice) A Blend like the following will 
be found to give universal satisfaction in any locality, 
being full, strong, round, smooth and fragrant, one en- 
tirely foreign in flavor and aroma to that of any single tea 
in common use: Base 10 pounds choice "third crop" 
Formosa at 35 cents, I pound fine Ning-chow Congou 
at 30 cents and I pound Yamashiro Basket-fired Japan 
at 30 cents, for which an equal quantity of Nankin 
Imperial may be substituted when it becomes necessary 
to vary the combination, or, better still, added to it if a 
Green tea is desired in it by the customer. 

5. (Choice) Is a combination that will yield a most 
pleasing tea to suit a mercantile or professional trade 
having been fully tested and proved popular among these 


classes in Philadelphia and vicinity. Foundation : 10 
pounds " first chop " high-district Foochow Oolong at 
40 cents, 10 pounds choice " pekoe-tipped " Formosa at 
40 cents and 5 pounds " Spring-picked " Basket-fired 
about same figures. A blend composed of these three 
varieties cannot be approached in drawing and drinking 
qualities by that of any single tea costing 60 cents. 


The combinations to be made from Green teas are not 
many, being limited in range. 

6. (Low-Priced) A heavy drawing, thick -liquored 
full-flavored tea can be prepared from a combination of 
equal parts of a cheap but clean, sweet-drawing Moyune 
Hyson or Twankay and Japan Nibs, when a cheap all- 
Green tea is required, as both these teas drink much 
better in conjunction than when either is used alone, the 
Japan mellowing and otherwise enriching the China 

7. (Medium) Base 20 pounds fair Foochow, 5 pounds 
Moyune Young Hyson, and 5 pounds Sun-dried Japan, 
make a unique and popular blend in some sections where 
the taste for Young Hysons is still extant, but where 
Imperials are preferred, the best results are obtained by 
a mixing of % Imperial to ^ Foochow or other 

8. (Choice) Pan and Sun-dried Japans, in equal quan- 
tities, always combine well with Hysons and Imperials, 
imparting a clearness and briskness to the liquor, but in 
the blending of green teas only true Moyunes should be 
employed, as Cantons, Pingsueys and all artificially- 
colored Green teas invariably injure and detract from the 
combination in which they may be introduced, no matter 
how fine the base and other constituent parts of the 


blend may be. Whenever low-priced Green teas are to 
be used select a cheap, clean sweet-drawing Moyune 
Imperial, Hyson, or even Twankay ; they will give better 
results than the better-made and higher-priced doubtful 


One of the greatest delusions indulged in by the 
novice in blending is that by using large and dispropor- 
tionate quantities of Scented teas in old, inferior or 
damaged teas, under the erroneous impression that no 
matter how thin, flat, tainted or otherwise defective they 
may be it will " bring it up " and improve the flavor. 
No greater mistake in blending could be made, for while 
it is admitted that a small quantity of either Orange or 
Flowery Pekoe will add to the value and flavor of a clean, 
sweet Congou, but if used too freely makes it thin. 
Scented teas of any kind cannot overpower, neutralize or 
even modify the flavor of inferior or tainted teas, but, on 
the contrary, will make them more so, particularly if Can- 
tons or Macaos be used. In this variety the best com- 
binations are always to be produced from teas of the 
Congou and Souchong sorts, though not infrequently 
they combine well with Oolongs in very moderate 

9. (Low-Priced) Is a favorite blend in Scented tea 
localities, particularly when the water is hard or cloudy. 
To IO pounds Saryune Congou add I pound Amoy 
Foochow and I pound Orange Pekoe. The fullness and 
smoothness of Saryune is unequalled for blending by 
that of any other low-priced Congous, but must be 
selected with care, as they are sometimes sour, often 
rank and frequently dusty. For those preferring an 
Oolong a cheap Saryune Oolong is best substituted for 
the Congou in Scented blends, the affinity being stronger 


and more natural. Another good blend intended for the 
same trade may be made from a combination of equal 
proportions of a cheap but clean and free liquoring Black- 
leaf Congou, Broken-leaf Assam and a Scented Caper 
Foochow if the price should permit. 

10. (Medium to Choice) Foundation : 10 pounds 
Padrae Congou or Oolong, 2 pounds thick " fruity " Kiu- 
kiang or delicate Kintuck and I pound Foochow 
Orange or Flowery Pekoe make a fragrant and aromatic 
tea in affiliation, the three flavors assimilating as if 
governed by the law of gravitation. This will be found 
a tea combining strength and delicacy at the same time 
and well appreciated, as the chief difficulty in tea blend- 
ing is the production of these two qualities in the same 
tea at the same time. 


The selection of India teas for blending is more diffi- 
cult than that of either China or Japan, most India teas 
possessing a sharp, acrid or " baked " flavor not found in 
the former kinds and the natural result of excess of 
tannin and artificial curing. These " peculiarities " con- 
sumers in this country greatly dislike, and to such an 
extent that is only when the finest grades are used that 
they can be neutralized, disguised or well-tempered with 
the heavier bodied China sorts that they will use them at all. 
For an " all-India blend " the best plan is to mix three 
or four different district kinds together in equal quantities 
a strong, heavy Assam, a brisk and pungent Cachar, a 
soft and juicy Deradoon and high-flavored Kangra or 
Darjeeling ; the latter will impart a distinctive tone to 
the entire combination. But fairly excellent results may 
also be obtained from a blend composed of equal parts 
of Cachar and Darjeeling alone. 


11. (Low-Priced) Is produced from proportionate 
quantities of a heavy-drawing Broken-leaf Assam or 
Darjeeling Oonfa Congou and Cachar Souchong, the 
whole making a rough-looking but full-bodied, strong 
and " grippy " tea. 

12. (Medium) Prepared from y 2 Darjeeling Sou- 
chong, y 2 Keemun or Ningchow Congou and J^ Paklin. 
Its predominant feature will be delicacy, though not 
sufficiently so to please a general trade, the Paklin 
detracting from the body, but imparting a rich, deep color 
to the whole. 

13. (Choice) Is a good combination certain to be 
appreciated by lovers of the India and Scented varieties, 
is made from l / 2 of a brisk, pungent Assam Souchong, 
y Ningchow or fruity Kintuck and ]fa Foochow Caper, 
The Ningchow should be grey-leaf and as heavy as can 
be procured, but without being coarse or " tarry," and 
the Assam as pungent as can be obtained at the 


Blended teas are the rule in England, where the skill- 
ful mixing of tea has become an art, very little, if any 
tea being sold to consumers that is not mixed or blended 
in some manner, every dealer, both wholesale and retail 
being identified with or noted for some particular flavored 
tea. Many of the blends sold in London, although 
differing widely in character, are most skilfully and 
scientifically combined, the greatest care being taken that 
no tea is introduced which might act detrimentally upon 
any other tea in the blend. The majority of these blends 
are markedly distinct, almost opposite, the chief features 
of one being a rough, strong, but ripe Saryune Congou, 
that of another being an even-leafed, delicate-flavored 
Chingwo, the base of a third being a plain Ningchow or 


fruity Oonfa, to which is added an Assam Pekoe or Sou- 
chong to increase its thickness and pungency as well as 
gire tone to the mixture, together with a small quantity 
of low-priced Kaesow to reduce its cost. But however 
great the divergence in the blends, whenever knowledge 
and judgment have been brought to bear on the subject 
success has followed in its wake, and although the most 
of the combinations are exceedingly popular there is still 
ample room for the introduction of others as well as for 
improvements upon those that are at present in use. 

14. The following is a very popular London blend, 
and will be duly appreciated among English residents 
generally: 3 pounds Kaisow Congou, 2 pounds Sou- 
chong, 2 pounds Assam, I pound Pekoe and I pound 
Foochow Oolong. The foundation of this combination 
as will be observed, is composed of China Congous, the 
Souchong enriching, the Assam giving sharpness and 
pungency, the Oolong softening and mellowing and the 
Pekoe imparting aroma and piquancy to the entire. 

15. Another English blend, cheaper, and conse- 
quently not as satisfactory, is composed as follows : 
6 pounds Ningchow, 6 pounds Oonfa and 5 pounds Cachar 
or Darjeeling Congous, 5 pounds Oolong, I pound 
Caper and I pound Pekoe. The Congous forming 
the base of this blend being lacking in strength, an 
extra quantity of Cachar is required to " bring them 
up," while the equal quantity of Oolong softens and the 
Scented teas give a tone to the high-toasty flavor of 
the India. 

In Blending teas scoops or guessing should not be 
relied on, but scales and weights always used in measuring. 
If it is worth the time and trouble to test a number of 
teas so that the most suitable may be selected, it certainly 
must be worth a little more of each to weigh and arrange 


the proportions in the best and most advantageous man- 
ner, and not risk the success of the combination by a 
rough conjecture at the various quantities composing it. 
The advantage of correctly weighing tea for blending is 
not surpassed by that of selecting it in the first place, 
and a blend should never, under any circumstances, have 
its cost reduced by the introduction of a tea coarser or 
rougher in leaf than that of the majority of the kinds 
composing the mixture. Low-priced teas when used for 
this purpose should be clean, plain and sweet, as a tea of 
more pronounced character will stamp its own impres- 
sion on the other teas instead of its being lost among 
them, its coarse features standing out prominently, while 
the superior qualities of the finer grades will be, if not 
entirely obliterated, so marred as to be unrecognizable. 
Whereas, if the blend is so arranged that the most pow- 
erful tea is also the highest grade in it, the effect is that 
all the other teas are elevated to its level. Teas should 
on no account be ever blended in wet or damp weather, 
as they have a natural susceptibility for absorbing moist- 
ure and all surrounding odors. After blending, they 
should be immediately replaced in the original lead-lined 
package and covered, or in tightly-covered cans, to 
exclude the air and protect them from the weather, and 
then allowed to stand from a week to ten days in order 
to let them assimilate and unite their opposite qualities. 

In China, where tea has been in use from time im- 
memorial, and where it not only forms the regular 
beverage of the people but also administers to the 
luxury of the epicure, it is generally prepared in the 
cup. The tea service consists of large porcelain cups 


which fit into a silver base, a smaller cup and cover, 
the leaves being placed in the large cup which is filled 
with -boiling water and also covered. In about two 
minutes when the tea is drawn it is decanted from the 
large to the smaller cups, the cover being used to strain 
off the tea, after which it is drank without the addition 
of either sugar or milk. Another shorter method is to 
first put a small quantity of leaves in a cup and place 
a perforated silver-lid on top to keep them down, briskly 
boiling water is then poured on and the cups covered 
with a saucer to prevent the aroma from escaping. The 
tea is then allowed to brew or " draw " in this manner 
from eight to ten minutes, after which the infusion is 
drank from the original cup. By these simple processes 
only the more volatile and stimulating properties of the 
leaves are extracted the tannin or astringent principle 
being retained in the leaves and an immeasurably much 
finer beverage produced than by any other known method. 
The Mandarins and wealthier Chinese prepare it in a 
small hollow ball made of either gold or silver, about the 
size of a walnut, suspended from a finger- ring by a 
slender chain of the same material four to five inches 
long. This " tea-ball " is divided in the middle, the 
halves being hinged and perforated with innumerable 
holes, but is often made like a globular sieve of gold or 
silver wire connected in the same manner. The halves 
are filled with tea-leaves and then clasped tight and sus- 
pended by the ring and chain from one of the fingers of 
the right hand into a porcelain cup of freshly boiling 
water and gently moved to and fro or up and down until 
the water is colored to the desired height, the strength 
of the infusion thus prepared depending much on the 
length of time the tea-ball is agitated in the cup, making 
it strong or weak as may be required. The Chinese 


invariably make the infusion with rain or spring water 
heated to a high degree, the ebullition lasting only a few 
minutes and poured on the leaves just as soon as the 
bubbles appear on top of the water. 

* * * * 

The Japanese, to whom tea is as valuable as it is to 
the Chinese, first reduce the leaves to a fine powder by 
grinding them in a small hand-mill made for the purpose, 
and then mix it with hot water to the consistency of a 
thin pulp, in which form it is sipped, not drank, par- 
ticularly by the aristocracy and richer people, being made 
and served to visitors in the following manner : The tea- 
table, with the powdered tea enclosed in a box, is set 
before the company and the cups filled with boiling water 
as much of the powder as would cover the point of a 
knife put into each cup, which is then stirred and mixed 
with a curious denticulated instrument until the, liquor 
foams, in which state it is served to the company, and 
sipped while warm. Customarily they strain the liquid 
before drinking, but frequently the tea and pulverized 
leaves are drank together in the same manner that the 
Turks and other Orientals use coffee. 

* * * * 

In Cashmere a beverage called " Cha Tulch " is pre- 
pared from tea by boiling the leaves in a tin-lined copper 
pot to a strong, dark decoction, and while boiling briskly 
phule (red potash), anise-seed and a little salt is added, 
after which it is poured into a kettle and finally served 
in porcelain tea-cups. It is also prepared there in a 
vessel termed a Chajos kettle and tea-pot combined 
and poured direct into the cups, but is used only after 
meals, more particularly after the morning repast. The 
morning meal, consisting of this decoction and some 


plain biscuit served hot. Another preparation, known as 
"churned tea," made in a similar manner, but afterwards 
regularly churned like milk, is highly prized among them, 
being used exclusively for entertaining visitors. And there 
is no doubt that the Cashmere ladies talk scandal, vent 
their grievances and discuss their bonnets and their 
babies over this peculiar beverage in the same manner as 
do their more civilized sisters in America at their " five 

o'clock teas." 

* * * * 

Vumah cha or " Cream tea " is the favorite form in 
Turkestan in the preparation of which only Black tea is 
used, but is a much stronger decoction than that ordi- 
narily made. The leaves are boiled in a copper pot and 
the color heightened by lifting spoonfuls up and letting 
them fall back again into the vessel while boiling, cream 
being added to it meantime and bread soaked in it, after 
which it is eaten. Another preparation termed Seen cha 
or " bitter tea " is made from Green tea infused in the 
regular way, but drawn for a shorter time, as the lighter 
the color the higher it is valued. 

* * * * 

The Persians boil the leaves in a pot or kettle until the 
water assumes a blackish color and bitter taste, after 
which they add fennel, anise-seed, cloves and sugar to it, 
while the Hindoos and Cingalese simply put the leaves 
in seething water and use the liquor only without the 
addition of any other ingredient. In Chinese-Tartary 
tea is prepared in the customary manner as with us, but 
the liquor and leaves are swallowed together. The Mon- 
gols generally add milk, but make a much stronger decoc- 
tion and use only the infusion, while the Bokharis use 
only Black tea mixed with camel's milk or suet, break- 
ing up their bread in it, always carrying a bag of it with 


them when traveling, giving it to their innkeepers to brew 

as they need it. 

* * * * 

In Siam when the water is well boiled they pour it on 
the leaves which have been put in an earthen pot pro- 
portional to the quantity they intend to make, the ordin- 
ary amount being as much as they can take up with the 
finger and thumb to a pint of water. They cover the 
pot until the leaves have sunk to the bottom and then 
serve it up in china dishes to be drank as hot as can be 
endured without sugar or milk. 

* * * * 

A preparation called Shamma or " residue " is made 
from the spent or exhausted leaves that is, leaves once 
used in Beloochistan, and chewed like the pan or betel- 
leaf is in India and the coca in South America, and is 
claimed to have the same exhilarating effect in enabling 
them to stand fatigue and long journeys. 

* * * * 

Tea is prepared for use in Thibet by first grinding the 
leaves and mixing them with bullock's blood. This 
compound is then pressed into the form of bricks, dried 
by a fire-heat and wrapped in sheepskin until required 
for use, in which form it also serves as a currency through- 
out Central Asia. A kind of " bouillon " or soup is made 
from them by boiling in water and adding salt flour, 
oil, tallow or camel's milk. 

* * * * 

Among the Arabs tea is prepared by first placing a 
large kettle over a wood fire to heat and then filling it 
with water, the leaves being t meantime mixed with salt and 
thrown into the water as it heats. When it approaches 
the boiling point they are rapidly stewed and lifted with 
a large ladle until the liquid becomes dark brown, 


when it is poured into another vessel, the kettle being 
cleaned meanwhile and a paste composed of meal and 
butter put in to fry in it. The tea infusion with cream 
added is then poured on the whole, ladled as before, 
after which the mass is removed and set aside to cool. 
In this condition it is ladled into wooden mugs and 
served up, the decoction thus prepared forming both 
meat and drink, satisfying hunger and thirst at the same 
time. * * * * 

Tea in Morocco is regarded as a " course meal " the 
tea-pot or kettle is first filled with Green tea, sugar and 
water in such proportion as to make a thick syrup, which 
is used without the addition of milk or cream, but 
frequently add spearment, wormwood, verbena, citron, 
and on great occasions ambergris. It is usually drank 
while seated cross-legged on soft carpets, spread on 
the floor around a costly tray with small feet raising 
it a few inches from the floor, furnished with glasses in 
place of cups, nothing else being taken at the meal. An 
infusion made of tea and tansy is also a favorite bever- 
age with the people of Morocco which is highly aromatic 
and tonic in its effect, and claimed by them to be a 
remedy for debility. 

* * * * 

In Switzerland it is customary to mix cinnamon with 
the leaves before making the infusion, and brew both 
together at the same time in the usual manner. While 
in France and other continental countries brandy, wine, 
or other liquor is generally added to the beverage 
before drinking. 

* * * * 

The Russians, who are a nation of tea-drinkers, and 
who are close enough to the Chinese to have received 
some knowledge of their methods of preparing tea for 


use, are very particular in using fresh-boiled water. They 
prepare it in the same manner as with us, sliced lemon 
being invariably added to the infusion before using, 
which wonderfully improves the flavor, making a deli- 
cious beverage. Sugar or milk are seldom added, but in 
cold weather a kind of liquor called " Vodki " is substi- 
tuted for the lemon, the latter making it a potent drink, 
sending a glow all over the body. The vessels used by 
Russians in making tea consists of a small china tea-pot 
and a " Samovar " invariably, but the tea is not brewed 
or " drawn " in this vessel as is generally supposed, it 
being simply the utensil in which the water is boiled, 
taking the place and serving the same purpose as our 
tea-kettle. It is usually of brass, though often of other 
metal, urn-like in shape, but, unlike an ordinary urn, 
having an inner compartment or cylinder running through 
the middle, in which is placed burning charcoal for heating 
the water to an extreme temperature on the principle of 
a tubular boiler. The charcoal is not lighted until the 
Samovar is placed on the table, the water being drawn 
on to the tea as required, the tea being first put in a 
porcelain or earthenware tea-pot and filled from the 
Samovar ; the first water is poured off the tea as soon as 
it is put on, being used merely to carry off the dust. A 
second water is then used for drawing the tea, sufficient 
to make a strong infusion, being poured on at once, after 
which the tea-pot is covered, an ample " cosy " being . 
fitted over it to keep the tea warm and prevent the aroma 
from escaping, and is then allowed to draw from four to 
five minutes. Sufficient of this beverage is poured into 
each cup or glass and a slice of lemon added, as tea is 
drank chiefly from glasses set in metal frames in Russia, 
and the glass refilled with boiling water from the 


It is strange that nothing is ever done in this country 
by dealers to attempt to educate or enlighten their cus- 
tomers how to properly prepare their tea, study the 
water or preserve its aromatic properties after purchasing, 
seeing, as they must, how little the art is understood in 
this country particularly. Good tea can be kept intact, 
like good wine, for years with considerable advantage to 
both dealer and consumer alike, and there is no valid 
reason why consumers of tea should not be as particular 
and fastidious as buyers of wine. But to obtain good tea 
in the first place the consumer should purchase only the 
best, it requiring much less of the finer grades to make 
a good infusion purchasing only from the most reputa- 
ble dealers, those who know or study to understand their 
business. As a nation, the American people want the 
best of everything, or, as they characteristically express 
it, " the best is good enough for them," and they intend 
to have it if money can purchase it. But of what avail 
is the best tea for instance if it be not prepared prop- 
erly or in such a manner as to develop and secure its 
more delicate, subtle, volatile, refreshing and exhilarating 
properties. A country that expends annually upwards 
of sixteen millions of dollars on this commodity alone 
ought to devote a little more time and trouble in studying 
the best methods of preparing it and in extracting its 
most desirable and fragrant qualities. 

Tea may be made depressing and injurious, or exhila- 
rating and wholesome, according to the manner in which 
it is treated and prepared for use. Many who imagine 
that a high, dark-colored liquor indicates strength, boil 
the leaves, while others, again, spoil the tea by putting 
the leaves into the boiling water, some people putting the 
leaves in cold water and then placing the vessel over 
the fire to boil, prolonged infusion being still another 


serious mistake. All of these methods produce the 
same evil results that of extracting an increased amount 
of the tannic acid thereby destroying the flavor of the 
tea by giving it a bitter and astringent taste as well as 
imparting an almost ink-black color to the infusion. 

The falsely economical custom of filling the tea-pot a 
second time without removing the exhausted leaves is 
another error in the making of tea, as the theine which is 
only soluble in fresh-boiled water, is wholly extracted in 
the first drawing and cannot for this reason be present in 
the second, the latter being merely a decoction composed 
chiefly of tannin. To avoid this error a sufficient 
quantity of tea should be made in the first drawing or 
fresh leaves supplied as needed. And still another 
reprehensible practice is that of adding fresh leaves to 
those that have already been used once, it being utterly 
impossible to add either to the strength or flavor of tea 
by putting more leaves in the tea-pot after the first 
drawing, for the reason that tea-water will not extract 
the active principle theine from the dry leaves of fresh 
tea ; only fresh bailing water will do this. The use of 
tea-water simply increases the amount of tannin, darkens 
the color, destroys the flavor and only adds to the 
quantity of leaves already in the pot without in the least 
affecting the active principle, so that if it be necessary 
to increase the strength of the tea prepared, draw some 
fresh leaves in a separate vessel and add the liquor to 
that already made. 

Tea being an infusion, not a decoction, it should be 
brewed, not stewed, the object being to extract as much 
of the theine or refreshing principle and as little of the 
tannin or astringent property as possible, without, at the 
same time, either boiling or overdrawing. So that in 
the proper preparation of tea for use, the aim and 


object should be to extract as little of the tannin as 
possible and as much of the theine and volatile oil as can be 
conveniently extracted without permitting the infusion 
to boil, to obtain which most desirable result the follow- 
ing general rules are recommended : Put the requisite 
quantity of leaves in a covered china or earthen ware 
vessel avoid tin or metal of any kind, even silver then 
pour on fresh, briskly-bo\\\ng water and let stand where it 
will keep hot without boiling from seven to ten minutes 
according to the variety of tea used. In this time, while 
the tea is drawing, only the refreshing and stimulating 
principles (theine and volatile) are extracted from the 
leaves. Boiling or prolonged infusion dissolves and 
brings out the astringent principle (tannin) which injures 
the nerves and impairs digestion, for which reason no tea 
that has been either boiled or overdrawn is fit to drink. 
When tea has been boiled or overdrawn it can be readily 
detected by the exceedingly dark color of the liquor, as 
well as by its bitter and astringent flavor. 

To insure a really good "cup.of tea " the kettle must be 
filled with fresh water if distilled the better and boiled 
for about three minutes; there will be a sparkle about tea 
made with fresh-boiled water that it cannot receive from 
flat, hot water, which has been boiled long or repeatedly. 
For moderate strength it requires one heaping teaspoon- 
ful of good tea to each half-pint of boiling water or an 
ordinary tea-cup half-full to a quart of water will make a 
sufficiently strong infusion for five persons. No metal 
vessel, not even one of silver, is fit to make tea in, noth- 
ing being better adapted for the purpose than the old- 
fashioned tea-pot of heavy, glazed, brown earthenware, 
covered with a tea-cosy a tufted cushion, cap-shaped, 
which envelopes the tea-pot, keeping the tea warm and 
the aroma from escaping, This vessel must be first 


" scalded " and set on the range to dry and keep hot, 
after which the tea is put in and allowed to heat for a few 
minutes before the boiling water is poured on the leaves, 
and the infusion allowed to draw or " brew " from five 
to ten minutes according to the variety of tea under 

India and Ceylon teas are usually " drawn " in five min- 
utes, longer infusion, owing to their great excess of tan- 
nin, making them still more bitter and astringent than 
they naturally are under ordinary conditions. The addi- 
tion of extra quantities of milk and sugar, however, 
greatly modifies their great strength, sharp pungency 
and pronounced flavor. China Green and Japan teas re- 
quire from six to eight minutes to " draw " thoroughly, 
while China Oolongs are best at from eight to ten. 
China Congous yielding lower percentages of tannin 
than most other varieties, the time allowed should be 
longer than ten minutes if a full yield of their best prop- 
erties should be desired. They will also be found more 
suitable to temperaments to which teas containing larger 
quantities of tannin are found injurious or objectionable. 
China teas in general do not require much milk or 
sugar, while Japans are more pleasing and palatable 
without the addition of either. 

Everything should be clean, the water fresh and the 
tea drawn at a specific heat, to insure which requires a 
brisk fire or gas heat, and different treatment according 
to the season of the year. Care should be taken that 
the water boils, it being much better to let it boil for a 
few minutes than use it under the boiling point. In 
winter the vessel should be made hot and the leaves 
heated in it before the water is poured on, for about a 
minute, while in summer the tea-pot need not be heated 
or the water poured on while boiling, but should be 


allowed to cease for a few seconds, more or less, accord- 
ing to the heat of the day. It is also a needless opera- 
tion to pour a small quantity of water on the tea for 
a preliminary drawing, as is frequently done. Always fill 
the tea-pot, or pour in at once the quantity required, but 
for the more temperate seasons a modification of these 
methods may be adopted. The longest time that any 
tea should be allowed to steep is from five to ten minutes. 
As soon as it has been steeped this length of time, at the 
outside, it should be served. Even if it is allowed to 
remain on the stove a few minutes after this time it will 
be ruined. 

The character of the water used greatly influences the 
liquor and flavor of the tea. Soft water should always 
be used when available, it being next to impossible to 
make good tea with hard water. Excess of lime in the 
water also deteriorates the infusion, the last difficulty 
may, however, be remedied by the judicious use of car- 
bonate of soda, as much as would cover the face of a 
dime being sufficient for an ordinary drawing of tea. 

Tea being an extremely delicate and sensitive article, 
it should be protected from all foul and foreign flavors, 
its susceptibility to the odors of other articles being a 
source of danger and deterioration, as it readily absorbs 
the smell of coffee, cocoa, spices, meats, fish and other 
commodities of pronounced flavor. Even when securely 
packed in the lead-lined chests in which it is received 
from the producing countries, the change from the glow- 
ing heat of Eastern skies to our atmosphere deprives it 
of much of its pleasing fragrance. For this reason the 
complaints so frequently made would not arise if always 
kept in places free from contagion or stored in a dry, 
warm temperature and not exposed to atmospheric 



Iced Tea Put the requisite quantity of leaves in an 
earthen vessel and pour on briskly boiling water until 
the vessel .is nearly full, and let it infuse or draw from 
two to three minutes ; in no case permit it to boil, as boil- 
ing or long infusion extracts the tannin and imparts to 
it, even the best tea, a disagreeable, herby or astringent 
taste. When infusion is complete, strain the liquor out 
of the tea-pot into a jar, demijohn or other covered 
receptacle, and place it in a cool place for a few hours, 
or until wanted, then serve in a cup or goblet, adding 
some cracked ice and a slice or two of lemon. A fine 
grade of Chinese Congou or Souchong is best adapted 
for this purpose. Choice Oolong is also good, but Japan 
tea should never be used, as it is not pleasing when iced 
to a well-regulated palate. Fine Imperials and Young 
Hysons are also excellent for those whose nerves can 
stand Green tea, the first two, however, are best of all, 
having an especially agreeable flavor when iced. Plenty 
of ice is needed, which should be cracked, not crushed, 
and the lemon cut in quarters, the juice being squeezed 
out and the pulp scraped into the tea. The rind should 
never be used, as the oil contained in it imparts to the 
beverage a bitterish taste; use neither milk or sugar 
unless you are compelled to from habit. It is the bitter 
flavors of the tea and lemon together that is required to 
allay the parched feeling of the palate and throat. 

Extract of Tea In hot weather an infusion of tea- 
leaves made in cold water is much superior to that made 
in hot or boiling, for the reason that the aroma will not 
be dissipated. An extract made in this manner may be 
bottled, and if placed in a moderate temperature will keep 
for any reasonable time until required for use. When 
serving, fill the glass with cracked ice, put some sugar 


on top of it, add a slice or two of lemon and then pour 
on the extract thus made ; the result will be a nectar fit 
for the gods. 

Essence of Tea Is produced from the leaves by 
distillation in the form of a dark-colored fluid, of which 
one or two spoonfuls added to boiling water will make an 
excellent cup of tea in a very short time. When pre- 
pared in a tea-pot, the water should be put in first and 
the requisite quantity of essence added afterwards; the 
flavor will be pronounced, coming out remarkably well 
in the liquor. This essence, when pure and properly 
made, will keep for any length of time in any climate on 
land or sea. 

New Beverages An effervescent wine may be pro- 
duced from tea by forcing carbonic acid gas into the plain 
liquor as ordinarily prepared, and another beverage is 
produced by the introduction of an effervescing wine to 
the liquor only. While a pleasing drink is also prepared 
by treating the ordinary infusion with a little yeast and 
sugar, a tea-wine being produced from it differing in 
color and flavor according to the proportions in which 
the constituents are combined. Still another being 
evolved from this by the addition of a little alcohol to 
the compound. A drink called Rohrer or " tea spirit " 
is again produced by adding either whisky or brandy to 
the plain infusion when fresh made. 

Paraguayan Tea Is prepared in a filter or perfor- 
ated bowl, known as a Mate, heated with warm water. 
A thin layer of sugar is first put in and a layer of leaves 
laid on top, another layer of sugar being added, the 
leaves being sandwiched between. The vessel is next 
filled with boiling water, which is allowed to percolate 
through the leaves and sugar. Before serving it is again 
sweetened with sugar until it becomes almost syrupy in 


substance, and frequently flavored with cinnamon, orange 
or lemon juice. Goat's milk is often used instead of 
water, when thus prepared the infusion becomes ambrosial, 
approaching to that of "Chocolate Italienne" or nectar 
in flavor, becoming still more palatable when cold, but if 
allowed to stand too long exposed to the influence of the 
atmosphere it gets muddy and sours quickly. 


in chemistry is a complex mixture of a variety 
of substances, including Theine, Tannin, Dex- 
trine, Glucose, Gum and an essential oil known as 
Volatile, which, together with a portion of the ash, pass 
into the solution when tea is infused. Being a leaf it 
also contains some woody fibre, the quantity of which as 
determined by Mulder, ranges from 17.1 in Green to 
28.3 per cent, in Black teas. According to Peligot, 
whose admirable investigation of tea ranks as a chemical 
classic, it also contains a large quantity of legumen, a 
nitrogenous substance, sometimes termed vegetable 
Caseine, the percentage of which, as given by Peligot, is 
about 15 per cent, in tea in its usual commercial state. 
The woody fibre, legumen, some tannin coloring-matter 
and a certain quantity of the ash make up mainly the 
portion of the leaf which is not soluble in boiling 
water. In its commercial state tea is not subject to 
much irregularity in a hygrometric condition, there 
being only about 8 per cent, of moisture in it, which 
may fall to 6 or rise to 10 per cent, from outside causes. 
Tea has been analyzed by many other chemists, but 
owing to a difference in the variety, character, quality, 
age, color and methods of preparation of the specimens 


submitted, the results have been as varied. The average 
composition in parts range as follows : 

Chemical Constituents. Quantities. 

Theine, 3 

Tannin, 25 

Volatile Oil, I 

Albuminoids, 15 

Mineral Matter, 6 

Gum and Glucose, 21 

Vegetable Fibre, 20 

Fatty Substances 4 

Water of Absorption, 5 

Total, 100 

Theine Is the alkaloid of tea and is the substance 
to which it owes its refreshing and stimulating properties. 
It is a crystallizable matter, soluble in water, very 
bitter to the taste and characteristic alike of both tea and 
coffee, being to these beverages what quinine is to bark, 
and with the base of cocoa which has recently received 
the name of " theobromine," it is also closely related. It 
is further remarkable as occurring in many other plants 
dissimilar in structure and character, grown in remote 
countries, but yet selected by the inhabitants on account 
of their yielding a slightly exciting and refreshing bever - 
age, and to the presence of which the peculiar physio- 
logical action of tea on the animal economy is attributed. 
It was first discovered under the name of Caffeine by 
Runge, who originally found it in Coffee, and later by 
Oudry, who extracted an identical substance from tea, to 
which he gave the name of Theine. Strickler subse- 
quently produced it from cocoa, naming it Theobromine. 
These bodies are evidently related to uric acid as like it, 
when exposed to the action of nitric acid and ammonia 
they yield a purple coloring matter, technically termed 


Theine is a substance which crystallizes very beauti- 
fully, forming white, silk-like crystals containing- an atom 
of water of crystallization, the specific gravity of which 
is 1.23 at iC, and the 9 water of crystallization is not 
altogether evaporated by a temperature of 150. As 
deposited from aqueous solutions it still contains an atom 
of water, but as deposited from solutions in alcohol 
or ether, or when sublimed it is anhydrous. It is 
much more soluble in hot than cold water or in 
alcohol or ether, and according to Peligot, one part of 
theine dissolves in 300 parts ether or in 93 parts water at 
ordinary temperatures. It is a base of the same class as 
aniline and urea, that is to say, it will combine with 
acids yielding crystalline compounds, but never neutral- 
izing an acid. With chloride of platinum, chloride of 
gold and corrosive sublimate, the hydrochlorate of theine 
enters into combination, forming a double salt with each. 
As will be manifest from its formula C 8 H 10 N 4 O 2 
theine is one of the most highly nitrogenous substances 
known to chemists, and connected with this high per- 
centage of nitrogen (almost double that formed in any other 
albuminous substance) is its property of yielding an 
abundance of cyanides when fused with soda lime, 
which property distinguishes it from a number of organic 
bases, such as piperine, morphine, quinine and cincho- 
nine. With the base of cocoa which has received 
the name of theobromine theine is also closely related, 
being nothing more than methylated theobromine. 
Strecker having produced it from theobromine by acting 
upon a silver derivative with iodide of methyl, in a 
sealed tube heated at 100. Theine exists in tea, 
not in the free state, but in the form of tannate of 
tea, which appears to be dissolved by the excess of 
tannic acid contained by the tea leaf, and so it 


happens that the theine makes its appearance in the 
infusion instead of remaining in the exhausted leaves. 
The proportion of theine in tea has been variously 
given by different chemists. Mulder finding 0.43 per 
cent, in Green tea and 0.46 in Black, while Stenhouse 
found 1.05 and 1.27 in Green and Black respectively. 
Peligot found 2.34 and 3.0, and Zoller, whose research is 
comparatively recent, found 3.94 per cent, of theine in 
India tea. But it would be a mistake to regard these 
varying results as showing that the quantity of theine 
in tea is variable, as they serve only to illustrate the diffi- 
culties which stand in the way of a quantitive extraction 
of the theine, and the imperfection of the earlier methods. 
In Peligot's paper, these difficulties are referred to, and by 
making an attempt to extract the theine from a sample 
of tea the chemist acquires a sense of the truth of them. 
The experiments of the latter, however, being of great 
interest to chemists merits a somewhat detailed descrip- 
tion. He began by determining the total amount of 
nitrogen contained in the dried leaves of different kinds 
of China tea at 110, finding 6.15 per cent, in 100 parts 
of Oolong, 6.58 in Congou, and 6.30 in Green tea, while' 
from one sample of India he extracted only 5.10 per cent, 
proportions six times greater than had been heretofore 
obtained by any previous analysis. Next testing every 
soluble substance for nitrogenous matter, he proceeded 
by successive eliminations to ascertain the quantity of 
theine in 27 other different samples and found that Green 
teas contained on an average 10 per cent, of water, and 
Black only 8 per cent., and also that the latter contained 
about 43.2 of matter soluble in boiling water while the 
former averaged as high as 47.1, and that this soluble 
matter yielded only 4.35 of nitrogen in Black teas, and 
^70 per cent, in Green. It remaining to be determined 


whether this large percentage of nitrogen was wholly 
due to the theine or in part to some other principle, he 
next found that the precipitate with sub-acetate of lead 
contained no apparent quantity, and then testing the 
theine by a modification of Mulder's process obtained 
from Green tea an average of 248 per cent., and from a 
mixture of Green and Black 2.70. But greatly as these 
quantities exceed those of all other chemists, they were 
still unable to account for the whole amount of nitrogen 
found in the infusion, so by adding mere acetate of lead 
and ammonia, separating them by filtration, and passing 
through it a current of sulphuretted hydrogen to pre- 
cipitate the lead, and evaporating the liquid with a gentle 
heat he obtained an abundant supply of crystals of theine. 
This supply he still further increased by re-evaporation 
until the whole amounted to 3.48 per cent, of the entire. 
There still remaining a syrup containing some theine it 
was precipitated with tannic acid, the result being added 
to that already crystallized it yielded a total of 5.84 from 
Green tea in the natural state and 6.21 in the dried 
leaf. These experiments being further continued by 
boiling the exhausted leaves with potash, it showed a 
presence of caseine to the extent of 28 per cent, of the 
mass, the proportion of the latter substance in the raw 
leaf being only 14 to 15. 

Theine is extracted from tea by boiling a quantity of 
the leaves in a considerably larger quantity of distilled 
water and the liquor squeezed out of the leaves which are 
to be boiled with a fresh quantity of water and again 
subjected to pressure, the process being repeated a third 
time. The several portions of the infusion expressed 
from the leaves are put in the same vessel, mixed together 
thoroughly and treated with an excess of acetate of lead 
and ammonia, which precipitates the tannin and coloring 


matter. The liquor is next filtered and the filtrate evap- 
orated down to a small bulk, first over a naked flame and 
afterwards in a water bath, and on being allowed to cool 
the solution will deposit crude theine which is removed 
by filtration, and the filtration nearly dried up in the water 
bath, and the residue boiled with alcohol, which dissolves 
the theine out of it. From this hot alcoholic solution 
theine crystallizes on cooling, a final purification being 
effected by crystallization from ether and decolorizing with 
animal charcoal. A simpler but less effective method 
is to place the dust of finely powdered tea-leaves, or an 
evaporated watery extract on a watch glass and cover it 
with a paper cone and hold it over a spirit lamp or gas jet 
the vapor arising from the glass condenses on the inte- 
rior of the cone and forms small crystals of theine. Con- 
centrated sulphuric acid dissolves theine in the cold 
without the production of color, but if the alkaloid be 
treated with nitric acid evaporated to dryness, and the 
reddish-yellow residue moistened with a little ammonia it 
turns a splendid purple color. Again, if a solution of 
theine be evaporated with chlorine on a watch glass a 
reddish-brown residue is obtained, which if again treated 
with the vapor of ammonia it becomes a deep violet of 
which the chief precipitants will be phosphoric acid, iodine 
and platinum, forming a yellow and brown precipitate 

Theine having no odor and only a slightly bitter 
taste it obviously has very little to do with the 
flavor of tea. It is, however, considered a very valuable 
constituent on account of the large percentage of nitrogen 
which it contains and to which is attributed the peculiar 
physiological action of tea on the animal economy, but 
what changes it undergoes in the human system has not 
yet been determined. When oxydized artificially it 


decomposes into methleamic (hydrocyanic acid) a nitro- 
genous compound closely allied to caseine or gluten, 
and as hot water extracts but very little of this substance 
a large amount of it is wasted in the ordinary infusion, 
which might otherwise be saved by the addition of a little 
carbonate of soda to the water in preparing it. 

Tannin. A large portion of the Tea-extract consists 
of tannin (tannic acid of a peculiar kind), there being 
much more in Green teas than in Black, ranging from 13 
to 20 per cent, in the former, and 8 to 12 per cent, 
in the latter, but averaging 12 and 9.50 per cent, respect- 
ively, the difference being due to the fact that part 
of the tannin originally existing in the raw-leaf is 
destroyed during the process of fermentation to which 
Black teas are subjected in manipulation. It is a power- 
ful astringent principle, puckering up the mouth when 
chewed, and to which tea owes its bitterness when over- 
drawn or boiled, constipating effect on the bowels, and 
the inky-black color which it imparts to water containing 
salts-of-iron. But whether it contributes in any degree 
to the exhilarating, satisfying or narcotic action of the tea 
has not yet been determined. Johnston thinks it probable 
that it does exert some such effect from the fact that a 
species of tannin is found in the Betel-nut, which when 
chewed produces a mild form of intoxication, but as to 
whether this property assists or retards digestion is 
still an unsettled question, the old maxim, " what is 
one man's meat is another man's poison," being par- 
ticularly true of this substance. Many persons finding 
that the use of tea while eating, or immediately after 
eating, has a soothing effect on their system, while 
the same persons after drinking coffee, under like 
rircumstances, get nervous, and cannot digest their food 
properly. As there is no tannin in coffee, it stands to 


reason that the substance must have some influence on 
the digestive organs. 

For the estimation of tannin in tea various processes 
are in use, a tritration by means of a standard solution 
of gelatine, which depends upon the well-known property 
possessed by gelatine of forming insoluble compounds 
with tannin being the most effective, but tedious and 
difficult. A much more simple and promising method 
consists in tritrating by means of a standard solution of 
lead, the point of saturation being indicated by the red 
color struck by an ammoniacal solution of ferricyanide 
of potassium, one drop of this solution being capable of 
coloring one milligram of tannin dissolved in 100 parts 
of water, the exact strength of the solution of lead being 
ascertained with a standard solution of tannin. In using 
the solution of lead, 10 drops of it are first diluted with 
9 times its volume in water, and the tea infusion dropped 
into it from a graduated burette until the indicator strikes 
a red with the drop of the indicator. The infusion of 
tea is made by boiling 2 grains of the leaves in water and 
afterwards diluting it to 250, it being understood that the 
smaller the quantity of this infusion required to saturate 
the 10 parts of the lead solution, the higher the percent- 
age of tannin in the sample of tea treated. This test is 
specially applicable for ascertaining whether Black tea in 
particular has been mixed with spent leaves. By taking 
the normal percentage of tannin in pure Black tea at 10 
and the percentage of tannin in spent tea as 2, the differ- 
ence is the extent of adulteration. 

There is a great variability in the amount of tannin 
contained in the different varieties of tea, varying in 
quantity according to the country of production, kind, 
quality, and state of growth when picked. In six sam- 
ples of China Oolong teas recently tested, the percentage 


of tannin extracted, after an infusion of thirty minutes, 
averaged only 7.44, an almost similar result being ob- 
tained from an examination of the finest Congou-China 
Green teas, ranging from 11.87 to 14.11 per cent, some 
Japan samples under the same conditions yielding on an 
average from 8 to 10. While with a sample of the finest 
Assam (India) a percentage of 17.73 of tannin by actual 
weight was extracted after an infusion of only fifteen min- 
utes, two samples of India and Ceylon giving respectively 
18.91 and 15.26, proving conclusively that India and 
Ceylon teas are much more heavily weighted with tannin 
than China and Japan teas. The percentage of tannin in 
the extract is also quite irregular, according to the quality 
of the tea, the ratio of tannin to the extract varying quite 
uniformly with the value of the tea, the percentage falling 
and rising with the percentage of the extract and cost of 
the tea. 

Volatile Oil Is the principle which imparts to tea its 
peculiar flavor and aroma, and upon the amount contained 
in the dried leaves depends the strength and pungency of 
the infusion. It is present only in very small quantities, 
but is, nevertheless, very potent in its effects, the propor- 
tions ranging, according to Mulder, from 0.6 per cent, in 
Black tea to 0.80 in Green, but averaging 0.75 in all good 
teas. It is found by distilling the tea with water, is 
lighter in body than water, citron-yellow in color, resini- 
fying on exposure, solidifying with cold, and exerting a 
powerfully exciting or stimulating effect on the system. 
But there being no chemical analysis of this constituent 
extant, its exact effect on the human system is difficult to 
define. By some authorities it is claimed to produce 
wakefulness, acting, it is said, in the same manner as 
digitalis (fox-glove) which, when taken in overdoses, 
causes anxiety and inability to sleep. It is a well-known 


fact that Green teas produce these effects, while Black 
does not, the excessive fermentation to which the latter 
are subjected in the process of curing, dissipating the vol- 
atile oil to a greater extent, or, more properly, altering its 
general character not only in effect but also in flavor. 

Gum or Gluten If it is necessary to estimate the 
quantity of gum or gluten in tea, as sometimes happens, 
evaporate an aqueous decoction of the leaves to an 
extract, and treat the residue with methylated spirit, filter 
and wash off with hot water, after which evaporate the 
solution to dryness, next weighing and burning it to an ash 
and deduct the mineral residue from the original weight 
of the leaves. Tea extract also yields a large quantity 
of ammonia when boiled with potash, and it is probable 
that this character may prove valuable also in testing the 
genuineness of tea. Tea leaves under an extraordinary 
amount of ammonia, when submitted to this test, are 
found to be remarkably rich in nitrogen, the determina- 
tion of which is also a means of identification. It may 
also be here remarked that when tea-leaves have been 
exhausted by infusion, alcohol is still capable of extract- 
ing a considerable amount of soluble matter. This 
alcohol extract, when infused in boiling water, furnishes 
a liquor which smells and tastes strongly of tea, which, 
were it not for the expense of the solvent and trouble 
attending its separation, could no doubt be profitably 
employed. A fixed oil composed of equal parts of oleine 
and stearine, serving many purposes, medicinal, illumin- 
ating and others, is extracted from the seeds of the tea- 
plant in many parts of China and Tartary. The other 
substances extracted from the tea-leaf consists principally 
of those which, in various proportions, enter into the com- 
position of all plants and include a modification of con- 
stituents analagous to sugar, fat, salts, starch and water. 


The fibre, tannin, legumen coloring matter and a certain 
quantity of ash making up mainly the portion of the leaf 
insoluble in boiling water. 

The virtues of tea as a medicine have been extolled 
from the time of its earliest use as a beverage in China. 
Chin-nung, a celebrated scholar and philosopher, who 
existed long before Confucius, and to whom its first dis- 
covery is attributed, is claimed to have said of it: "Tea 
is better than wine, for it leadeth not to intoxication; it 
is better than water, for it doth not carry disease, neither 
doth it act as a poison when the wells contain foul and 
rotten matter ;" and Lo-yu, another learned Chinese who 
lived during the dynasty of Tang, declared that " Tea 
tempers the spirits, harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude, 
relieves fatigue, awakens thought, prevents drowsiness, 
refreshes the body and clears the perceptive faculties," 
while the Emperor Kieu-lung advised all his subjects to 
" Drink this precious liquor at their ease, as it will chase 
away the five causes of sorrow. You can taste and feel, 
but not describe the calm state of repose produced 
by it." Again, Ten Rhyne, a botanist and chemist to the 
Emperor of Japan, in a work published about 1730, 
states that " Tea purifies the blood, drives away frightful 
dreams, dispels malignant vapors from the brain, mitigates 
dizziness, dries up rheum in the eyes, corrects humors, 
regulates the liver, modifies the spleen, restrains sleep, 
restricts drowsiness, expels lassitude, is good in dropsy, 
makes the body lively, cheers the heart and drives away 
fear." But of its sanitary effects after its first introduc- 
tion into Europe there was for a long period much 
consternation existing, being preposterously praised by 


some writers as an incentive to virtue, and as unjustly 
condemned by others as productive of numerous diseases, 
more particularly that of causing an increase of nervous 
complaints, which it would perhaps be more just to 
attribute to the more complicated state of modern social 
customs arising from an augmented population and 
advance in luxurious living, in connection with the more 
frequent infringement of the natural laws, especially that 
of turning night into day, and not seldom day into night, 
as is the too common practice of the votaries of fashion, 
together with the abuse of stimulants, tobacco and other 

Its assailants, however, were not very distinguished, but 
have been quite emphatic in their condemnation. Jonas 
Hanway, a man whose follies may well be pardoned for his 
virtues, being, perhaps, the most conspicuous of them. 
" He looked abroad upon the world, and perceiving that 
many things went wrong with it, and others no longer pre- 
sented the same attractive appearance, he remembered them 
to have had in his youth, he laid to the charge of tea all 
the evils and disenchantments that oppressed his spirits." 
" Men," he says, " seem to have lost their stature and 
comeliness and women their beauty, and what Shakespeare 
had asserted to the concealment of love in this age is 
more frequently occasioned by the use of tea." The 
champions of our "wholesome sage," who contended 
that " it was far superior to the boasted Indian shrub," 
were but a few of the host who attacked tea as " an inno- 
vation pregnant with danger to the health and good 
morals of the people." Others, again, although resolute 
for its banishment from the tea-caddy, were yet willing 
to accord it a place in the medicine chest. To such 
complaints echoes were not wanting, the tea-drinkers, in 
a short time, having it all their own way. 


Lettson was the first medical writer who attempted to 
give the public a reasonable and scientific account of tea, 
but even his fears of its abuse ran away with his judg- 
ment. The poet who commends " the cup that cheers, 
but not inebriates," must have been startled if Lettson's 
pamphlet ever fell into his hands, at the assertion " that 
the growth of this pernicious custom (drunkenness) is 
often owing to the weakness and debility of the system 
brought on by the daily habit of drinking tea," and that 
" the trembling hand seeks relief in some cordial in order 
to refresh and excite again the enfeebled system, whereby 
such persons fall into the habit of intemperance." Here 
assuredly the exception must have been taken for the 
rule, that tea may be so abused as to create a craving for 
alcoholic stimulants is unquestionable, but that at any 
period of its history its abuse has been so general as to 
become the main cause of intoxication may be safely 
denied. On the contrary, it was for a long time looked 
upon as the great means by which intemperance was to 
have been banished from society. Again, if there be 
any truth in this charge, why is it that the Chinese and 
Japanese, who are the greatest and most inveterate tea- 
consumers in the world for centuries, using it in season 
and out, are yet the most temperate ? It is, however, 
admitted that the tremblings and other nervous effects 
produced by tea on brokers and professional testers, 
liquor is too frequently resorted to as an offset, and that 
by the practice of some tea drinkers of the absurd and 
dangerous Russian and English customs of adding vodki, 
gin or other alcoholic stimulant to the "cup of tea," a 
habit is oftentimes acquired which can never afterwards 
be relinquished. Neither is it true, as alleged by 
Lettson, that the use of tea has been the cause of the 
increase of nervous and kindred complaints in colleges 


and seminaries. Still, his advice is sound when he 
states that " tea ought by no means to be the common 
drink of boarding schools, and when allowed, in 
moderation, the pupils should at the same time be 
informed that the constant or too frequent use of 
tea would be injurious to their health and constitu- 
tions. As whatever tends to impair the nerve power 
and ultimately the digestive organs, in strumuous 
children particularly, should be by all means avoided." 
But if a diminution of the number of inflammatory dis- 
eases be one of the consequences of the increased con- 
sumption of tea, which is now generally conceded, it is very 
much in favor of its use, as however distracting nervous 
diseases may be, they are by no means so fatal as those 
of an inflammatory nature, more particularly as the 
former can be almost immediately remedied by relin- 
quishing the use of tea or by simply omitting it from the 
breakfast for a time, at which meal it is certainly less 
proper to be used. 

The medicinal uses of tea, however, are not many, 
neither does its chemical analysis shed much light on its 
action on the human economy, a correct estimate of its 
particular action thereon having so far not been ascer- 
tained. So that before attempting any such estimate it 
will be necessary to consider that many of its attributed 
ill-effects may be due as much to the spurious leaves of 
other plants so frequently mixed with genuine tea-leaves 
for adulteration purposes, as well as to the deleterious 
compounds so often used in coloring, for the results of 
which pure tea is held responsible. The most dispas- 
sionate inquirers, however, regard it as a narcotic, the 
stimulating period of which is most conspicuous and 
of the longest duration, the active ingredient, theine, 
being an alkaloid identical with the caffeine of coffee, 


the medical action of the tea infusion upon the system 
is the result of the several effects of this alkaloid formed 
by combination of the theine, tannin, volatile oil, and the 
hot water. Of these elements theine probably plays the 
most important part, and like all other potent alkaloids 
theine is a powerful modifier of the nerve functions, 
increasing the action of the skin and cooling the body 
by lessening the force of the circulation, but does not 
cause any congestion of the mucuous membrane, partic- 
ularly in that of the bowels. In answer to the question 
whether theine produces nervousness and wakefulness, 
reliable authorities answer : No ! But that, on the con- 
trary, the effect of theine upon the human system is a 
calming and soothing one, producing a sense of repose 
and supplying to the body that which is lost by fatigue. 
The experiments made with tea on a number of 
animals for the purpose of ascertaining its effects on the 
nervous and muscular apparatus give varying results, the 
most important being that of lessening the amount of 
nitrogenous excreta, notably that of the urine, which 
means to diminish the rate at which nitrogenous sub- 
stances are oxydized within the body, such action being 
probably due to the volatile oil, as Lehman found the 
same oil in roasted coffee to produce the same action in 
his experiments. There being a substance in the flesh 
or muscles of all animals known as kreatine, the chemi- 
cal properties of which are analogous to those of theine, 
and it is now generally accepted that these substances 
are most agreeable to the human system as food which 
most nearly resemble the compound that form the tissues 
and muscles of the body, while those act as poison 
whose composition is most different from that of the 
tissues and muscles on which the life of the body 
depends. Scientists who have made this subject a 


special study, inform us that the substance known as 
kreatine is diminished by overwork and fatigue, and that, 
therefore, as theine and kreatine are chemically about one 
and the same property, the theory is accepted that the 
theine in tea supplies best that which is lost to the 
system by the wear and tear of life, the property termed 
caffeine in coffee being identical with both, serving the 
same purpose. While Liebig suggests that theine con- 
tributes to the formation of taurine, a compound peculiar 
to bile, and Lehman found that its administration is 
followed by a slight augmentation of urea. It has also 
been proven that theine and quinine are similar in 
nature, and that on analysis these substances are shown 
to contain the same proportions of carbon, nitrogen, 
oxygen and hydrogen, and, as is well known, quinine is 
about the only remedy used in intermittent and malarial 
fevers and ague. These facts being settled beyond dis- 
pute, it can be readily understood why it is that tea is so 
soothing and beneficial to those who may feel feverish, 
tired or debilitated. And while it is not claimed that tea 
alone will cure fever and ague, it -certainly acts as a 

In the early stages of fever it is found very valuable 
when given in the form of a cold infusion, it being not 
only considered an excellent diluent at the commence- 
ment, but also when administered in the form of " a 
tincture," prepared by macerating the leaves in proof 
spirit and adding a teaspoonful of the mixture to a small 
cup of water. This preparation is given to the patient 
at short intervals during the night, after the acute symp- 
toms have subsided, and is often of great benefit during 
the latter stages. For this purpose, in hospitals and 
other institutions, the leaves which have been used once 
for the regular infusion, may be macerated in alcohol and 


a tincture of sufficient strength obtained at a cheap and 
economical rate. In a peculiar state of the brain, 
termed " sthenic excitement," a condition clearly border- 
ing on inflammation, more especially when produced by 
alcoholic stimulants, intense study or long-continued 
application of the mind to any particular subject or 
literary research, an infusion made from Green tea will 
quickly act as a salutary remedy. While, on the con- 
trary, in periods of diminished excitement, a morbid 
vigilance and increased nervous disturbance is certain 
to follow its use, much better results being produced by 
small quantities repeated than by large ones in such 

In cases of poisoning by arsenic and antimony, fatal 
results have been prevented by the prompt administration 
of a strong infusion of tea, its power as an antidote in such 
cases depending on the tannin decomposing the poisonous 
substances. While it is nearly as valuable an antidote to 
poisoning by opium as coffee, it is, however, only useful 
in combatting the secondary symptoms, and should 
never be administered in such cases until the stomach 
pump or other means have removed the opium from the 
stomach. In some forms of heart disease, tea proves a 
useful sedative, while in others it is positively injurious. 
Many cases of severe nervous headache are instantly 
relieved by a cup of strong Green tea taken without the 
addition of either milk or sugar, but should be only 
occasionally resorted to in such cases, it being much 
better to avoid the cause. 

The almost total absence of gouty and calculous dis- 
eases in China and Japan is claimed to be attributable to 
the constant and inveterate use of tea by the inhabitants 
of these countries, in confirmation of which Prout says : 
" Persons of a gouty or rheumatic nature, and, more 


especially, those prone to calculous diseases, will find tea 
the least objectionable article of common drink, but 
should use it without the addition of sugar and only 
very little milk. When the water is hard, the addition 
of a small quantity of carbonate of soda will improve the 
flavor of the tea at the same time, rendering it a more 
proper beverage for persons so affected, but should not 
be taken by them for at least four hours after any solid 
meal, the addition of the alkali serving to increase the 
action of the skin as well as to augment its cooling and 
refreshing properties in the fullest degree." 

Dr. Smith alleges that " tea promotes all vital actions, 
the action of the skin particularly being increased and 
that of the bowels lessened, the kidney secretions are 
also affected, and the urine, perhaps, somewhat di- 
minished, the latter being uncertain." Other recent 
authorities agreeing that the direct effect of tea upon the 
human system is to increase the assimilation of food, 
both of the heat-giving and flesh-forming kinds, and that 
with an abundance of food it promotes nutrition, while in 
the absence of sufficient food it increases the waste of 
the tissues and body generally. An infusion of cold tea 
has been known to check violent retching and vomiting, 
while a very hot one will prove beneficial in severe 
attacks of colic and diarrhoea, having a specific action 
on the kidneys and urine. An application of infused tea 
leaves will subdue inflammation of the eyes produced by 
cold or other causes, but should be applied only and 
allowed to remain over night; and people who travel 
much will find a supply of tea a valuable accompaniment, 
as it is found to improve the taste and counteract the 
effects of the most brackish water, proving efficient also 
in preventing the dysenteric and diarrhetic results pro- 
duced by the frequent and extreme changes of drinking 


waters. It is for the purpose of qualifying the water 
expressly that tea is so generally used in China, as very 
little good drinking water is to be met with in any part 
of that country. 

With brain-workers it has always been a favorite 
beverage, the subdued irascibility, the refreshed spirits, 
and the renewed energies which the student so often 
owes to it, have been the theme of many an accomplished 
pen. Yet it is impossible to speak too strongly against 
the not uncommon habit frequently adopted by ardent 
students when prosecuting their studies far into the night, 
to resist the claims of nature for repose, and keep off 
the natural sleepiness by repeated libations of tea. That 
it answers the purpose for the time being cannot be 
denied, but the object is often attained at a fearful price, 
the persistent adoption of such a practice being certain 
to lead to the utter destruction of the health and vigor 
of both body and mind. Less injury in such cases will 
result from the use of coffee, there being this difference 
between the morbid states of the nervous system pro- 
duced by coffee and that resulting from tea. The effect 
of the former generally subsides or disappears entirely 
on relinquishing its use, while that caused by tea is more 
permanent and often incapable of being ever eradicated. 

That tea does not suit all temperaments, constitutions 
and all ages is no valid argument against its general use. 
That it is less adapted to children than adults is admitted ; 
indeed, for very young children it is entirely improper, 
producing in them, like all narcotics, a morbid state of 
the brain and nervous system in general. It is also 
unsuited to those of an irritable temperament as well as 
for those of a leuco-phlegmatic constitution, such persons 
illy bearing much liquid of any kind, particularly in the 
evening, prospering best on a dry diet at all times, and 


to which young children especially should be strictly 
confined. Briefly it may be summed up that tea is best 
suited to persons in health, the plethoric and sanguine, 
and upon which principle it is the proper diet at the 
beginning of fevers and all inflammatory complaints. 
Besides the more obvious effects with which all who use 
it are familiar, tea saves food by lessening the waste of 
the body, thus nourishing the muscular system while it 
excites the nervous to increased activity, for which reason 
old and infirm persons derive more benefit and personal 
comfort from its use than from any corresponding bever- 
age. To the question " does tea produce nervousness ?" 
the answer is " in moderation, emphatically No !" One 
to two cups of tea prepared moderately strong, even when 
taken two to three times per day will not make any one 
nervous, but when drunk to excess it undoubtedly will. 
Tea-testers and experts who are tasting it all the time, 
day in and day out, for the purpose of valuing it, are fre- 
quently made nervous by it, soon recover by a little 
abstinence. Tea, like liquor and drugs, when taken in 
moderate quantities, produce one effect, but when used 
in large and immoderate quantities produce just the con- 
trary result. China and Japan teas, containing more 
theine and less tannin, are consequently less hurtful and 
more refreshing than India and Ceylon teas, which con- 
tain nearly double the quantity of tannin, the astringent 
property to which India and Ceylon teas owe the harsh, 
bitter taste so often complained of in them, and which is 
undoubtedly the unsuspected cause of the indigestion 
and nervousness produced by their use. 


That the universal employment of tea has displaced 
many other kinds of food is certain, and regarding its 
dietical properties much has been written for and against 


While some physicians have praised its value as an article 
of food, on account of the large proportion of nitrogen 
which it contains, others have as strenuously maintained 
that it is non-nutritious, and does not serve as a substi- 
tute for food, and that the only beneficial properties it 
contains are due to the milk and sugar added in its use. 
So that in considering the nourishing effects of tea, the 
nutriment contained in the milk and sugar certainly must 
not be overlooked, neither must the powerful influence 
of the heat of the steaming draught be forgotten. Ac- 
cording to the chemical classification of food, the " flesh 
formers" contained in tea of average quality is about 18, 
and the " heat givers " 72 per cent, water and " mineral 
matter " being divided between the residue, the several 
constituents as they are found in one pound of good tea 
being as follows : 

Constituents. Quantities in one pound of good Tea. 

oz grs. 

Theine, ..... ..... o. 210 

Caseine, .......... 2. 175 

Volatile Oil, ..... .... o. 52 

Fat ........ ..... o, 280 

Gum, ......... , . 2, 385 

Sugar, ...... ..... o. 211 

Fibre, ..... ,,.,.. 3. 87 

Tannin, . . . * , ..... 4. 87 

Water, ..... , ..... o. 350 

Mineral, ..... , . , , . o. 350 

Total, ....,.,... 1 5 oz. 267 grs. 

The use of theine as an article of diet has not so far 
been satisfactorily determined ; but that it is a question 
of no mean interest is obvious when we consider that it 
is found to exist in so many plants, differing widely in 


their botanical origin and yet all instinctively used for 
the same purpose, by remotely situated nations, for the 
production of useful, agreeable and refreshing beverages. 
By taking the normal temperature of the human body 
at 98, it follows that where food is taken into the stomach 
of a lower temperature than that of the body it must 
necessarily abstract heat from the stomach and surround- 
ing tissues, so that where the practice of taking cold 
food becomes habitual depression occurs and the 
stomach is consequently disordered, and the system 
must make good this heat lost in raising the temperature 
of cold food or else suffer. The body demanding food 
when in an exhausted state, cold food or drink makes an 
immediate drain upon the system for heat before it can 
supply material for producing combustion, and the body 
is thereby taxed to supply heat at a time when it is least 
fitted for it. It is natural, therefore, that there should be 
a craving for warm food, and as liquid food is deficient 
in beat-giving matter, the use of cold drink is more 
injurious than that of cold food. From other experiments 
it appears that the introduction into the stomach of three 
or four grains of theine, which is the quantity contained 
in the third of an ounce of good tea, has the remarkable 
effect of diminishing the daily waste or disintegration of 
the bodily tissues which may be measured by the quantity 
of solid constituents contained in the many secretions, and 
if such waste be lessened the necessity for food to repair 
that waste will obviously be decreased in corresponding 
proportions. In other words, says Professor Johnstone, 
" by the consumption of a certain quantity of tea daily the 
health and strength of the body will be maintained to an 
equal degree upon a smaller supply of ordinary food." Tea, 
therefore, saves food ; stands to a certain extent in place 
of food, while at the same time it soothes the body and 


enlivens the mind. While tea, according to Dr. Sigmond, 
"has in most instances been substituted for spirituous 
liquors, and the consequence has been a general im- 
provement in the health and morals of the people, the 
time, strength, and vigor of the human body being 
increased by its use. It imparts greater capability of 
enduring fatigue, and renders the mind more suscep- 
tible of the innocent and intellectual pleasures of life, 
as well as of acquiring useful knowledge more readily, 
being not only a stimulant to the mental faculties but 
also the most beneficial drink to those engaged in any 
laborious or fatiguing work. Dr. Jackson testifying 
" that a breakfast of tea and bread alone is much more 
strengthening than one of beefsteak and porter." 

In his admirable work on hygiene Dr. Parker remarks 
that " tea possesses a decidedly stimulating and restora- 
tive action on the human system, no depression whatever 
following its use, the pulse being a little quickened, and 
the amount of pulmonary carbonic acid accordingly in- 
creased." From this experiment he regards "tea as a 
most useful article of diet for soldiers, the hot infusion 
being potent against heat and cold, and more useful still 
in great fatigue in tropical countries by its great purifying 
effect on brackish and stagnant water." Adding that 
" tea is so light, easily carried and so readily prepared, 
that it should form the drink, par excellence ', of the soldier 
in service or on the march, above all its power of lessening 
the susceptibility to malarial and other influences." And 
Admiral Inglefield is quoted as strongly recommending 
the use of tea to Arctic travelers and explorers, as seamen 
who surveyed with him in the polar regions after an ex- 
perience of one day's rum drinking came to the conclu- 
sion that tea was more beneficial to them while under- 
going the severe work and intense cold. Under the 


infirmities of advancing age, especially when the digestive 
powers become enfeebled and the size and weight of the 
body begin perceptibly to diminish, the value of tea in 
checking the rapid waste of tissue is particularly observa- 
able, and persons, when very much fatigued, will be 
sooner refreshed by drinking a cup of moderately strong, 
good tea, than by drinking wine or spirits of any kind. 
In allaying or satisfying severe thirst, no beverage will 
be found as efficacious as a draught of cold tea. 

Lettson furnishes a calculation, partly his own and 
partly from other sources, in which he endeavors to 
prove how much is, in his view, unnecessarily expended 
by the poor for tea. But the observations of Liebig, if 
correct, and in all probability they are, offer a satisfactory 
explanation of the cause of the partiality of the poorer 
classes, not alone for tea, but for tea of an expensive and 
therefore superior quality. " We shall never certainly," 
he says, " be able to discover how people were led to the 
use of hot infusions of the leaves of a certain shrub (tea) 
or a decoction of certain roasted seeds (coffee); some 
cause there must be which would explain how the 
practice has become a necessary of life to whole nations." 
But it is still more remarkable that the beneficial effects 
of both plants on the health must be ascribed to one and 
the same substance, the presence of which in two vege- 
tables belonging to natural families, the product of different 
quarters of the globe, could hardly have presented itself 
to the boldest imagination, recent research having shown 
in such a manner as to exclude all doubt that the 
caffeine of coffee and the theine of tea are in all respects 
identical. And without entering into the medical action 
of this principle, it will surely appear a most startling 
fact, even if we deny its influence on the process of 
secretion, that this substance, with the addition of oxygen 


and the elements of water, can yield taurine, the nitro- 
genous compound peculiar to bile. So that if an infusion 
of tea contain no more than i-io of a grain of theine, 
and contributes, as has been shown, to the formation of 
bile, the action, even of a such a small quantity, cannot 
be looked upon as a nullity. Neither can it be deemed 
that in the case of non-atomized food or a deficiency of 
the exercise required to cause a change of matter in the 
tissues, and thus to yield the nitrogenized product which 
enters into the composition of bile, the health may be 
benefited by the use of compounds essential to the 
production of this important element of respiration. In 
a chemical sense, and it is this sense alone that theine is 
in virtue of its composition better adapted to this pur- 
pose than all other nitrogenized vegetable principles yet 
discovered. To better prove how the action of tea may 
be explained, we must call to mind that the chief con- 
stituents of the bile contain only 3.8 per cent, of nitrogen, 
of which only one-half belongs to the taurine. Bile con- 
tains in its natural state water and solid matter in the pro- 
portion of 90 parts of the former to 10 parts of the latter, 
and if, we suppose, these 10 parts of solid matter to be 
cholenic acid with 5.87 per cent, of nitrogen, then 100 
parts of bile must contain 0.171 of nitrogen in the form' 
of taurine, which quantity is contained in .06 parts of 
theine, or, in other words, 272 grains of theine can give 
to an ounce of bile the quantity of nitrogen it contains 
in the form of taurine. The action of the. compound 
in ordinary circumstances is not obvious, but that it 
unquestionably exists and exerts itself in both tea and 
coffee is proven by the fact that both were originally met 
with among nations whose diet was chiefly vegetable. 
These facts clearly show in what manner tea proves to 
the poor a substitute for animal food, and why it is that 


females, literary persons and others of sedentary habits or 
occupation, who take but little exercise, manifest such a 
partiality for tea, and also explain why the numerous 
attempts made to substitute other articles in its place 
have so signally failed. 


"Life without stimulants would be a dreary waste," 
remarks some modern philosopher, which, if true, the 
moderate use of good tea, properly prepared and not too 
strong, will be found less harmful than the habitual resort 
to alcoholic liquors. The impression so long existing 
that vinous or alcoholic beverages best excite the brain 
and cause it to produce more or better work is rapidly 
being exploded, healthier and more beneficial stimulants 
usurping their place. But while the claims made in 
favor of the " wine cup " must be admitted, it cannot for 
a moment be denied that as excellent literary work has 
been accomplished under the influence of tea, in our own 
times, particularly when the poet, the essayist, the his- 
torian, the statesman and the journalist no longer work 
under the baneful influence of spirituous stimulants. 
Mantegaza, an Italian physiocogist of high repute, who 
has given the acti'on of tea and other stimulants careful 
study, confirms this claim by placing tea above all other 
stimulants, his enthusiasm for it being almost unbounded, 
crediting it with " the power of dispelling weariness and 
lessening the annoyances of life, classing it as the greatest 
friend to the man of letters by enabling him to work 
without fatigue, and to society as an aid to conversation, 
rendering it more easy and pleasant, reviving the droop- 
ing intellectual activity and the best stimulus to exertion, 
and finally pronouncing it to be one of the greatest bless- 
ings of Providence to man." 


Tea was Johnson's only stimulant, he loved it as much 
as Person loved gin, drinking it all times and under all 
circumstances, in bed and out, with his friends and alone, 
more particularly while compiling his famous dictionary. 
Boswell drank cup after cup, as if it had been the " Heli- 
conian spring." While Hazlet, like Johnson, was a 
prodigous tea-drinker, Shelley's favorite beverage was 
water, but at the same time tea was always grateful to 
him. Bulwer's breakfast was generally composed of dry 
toast and cold tea, and De Quincy states that he invari- 
ably drank tea from eight o'clock at night until four in 
the morning, when engaged in his literary labors, and 
knew whereof he spoke when he named tea " the bever- 
age of the intellectual." Kent usually had a cup of tea 
and a pipe of tobacco, on which he worked eight hours 
at a stretch, and Motley, the historian tells us that he 
" usually rose at seven, and with the aid of a cup of tea 
only, wrote until eleven." And Victor Hugo, as a 
general rule, used tea freely, but fortifying it with a little 
brandy. Turning from literature to politics, we find that 
Palmerston resorted to tea during the midnight sessions 
of Parliament. Cobden declaring " the more work he had 
to do the more tea he drank," and Gladstone himself 
confesses to drinking large quantities of tea between 
midnight and morning during the prolonged parliamentary 
sittings, while Clemenceau, the leader of the French 
Radicals, admits himself to be "an intemperate tea- 
drinker " during the firey discussions of debate. 

In moderation, tea is pre-eminently the beverage of the 
twilight hour, when tired humanity seeks repose after 
a day of wearying labor. Then the hot infusion 
with its alluring aroma refreshing and stimulating, 
increasing the respiration, elevating the pulse, softening 
the temper, producing tranquility in mind and body, 


and creating a sense of repose peculiarly grateful to 
those who have been taxed and tormented by the rush 
and routine of business cares and vexations. What a 
promoter of sociability, what home comforts does it not 
suggest, as, when Cowper, on a winter's evening, draws a 
cheerful picture of the crackling fire, the curtained win- 
dows, the hissing urn and " the cup that cheers ?" When, 
however, tea drinking ceases to be the amusement of the 
leisure moment or resorted to in too large quantities or 
strong infusions as a means of stimulating the flagging 
energies to accomplish the allotted task, whatever it 
might be, then distinct danger commences. A break- 
down is liable to ensue in more than one way, as not 
infrequently the stimulus which tea in time fails to give 
is sought in alcoholic or other liquors, and the atonic 
dyspepsia which the astringent decoction produced, by 
overdrawing induces, helps to drive the victim to seek 
temporary relief in spirits chloral or the morphine habit, 
which is established with extraordinary rapidity. For it is 
a truth that as long as a person uses stimulants simply for 
their taste he is comparatively safe, but as soon as he 
begins to drink them for effect he is running into great 
danger. This may be stating the case too forcibly for 
stimulants, but if this rule was more closely adhered to 
we should have fewer cases of educated people falling into 
the habit of secret intemperance or morphomania. 


The subdued irascibility, the refreshed spirits, and the 
renewed energies which the student and the poet so often 
owed to tea has been the theme of many an accomplished 
pen, eminent writers of all times and all countries con- 
sidering it no indignity to extol the virtues of this 
precious and fascinating beverage. What Bacchanalian 


and hunting songs, cavalier and sea songs, raphsodies and 
laudations of other subjects have been to our literature, 
such was tea to the writers, poets, artists and musicians of 
China and Japan, their' s being confined to the simple sub- 
ject Tea. Each plantation was supposed to possess its 
own peculiar virtues and excellences, not unlike the vine- 
yards of the Rhine, the Rhone and the Moselle, each had 
its poet to sing its praises in running rhymes. One 
Chinese bard, who seemingly was an Anacreon in his 
way, magnifying the product of the Woo-e-shan moun- 
tains in terms literally translated as follows : 

" One ounce does all disorders cure, 
With two your troubles will be fewer, 
Three to the bones more vigor give, 
With four forever you will live 
As young as on your day of birth, 
A true immortal on the earth." 

However hyperbolical this testimony may be consid- 
ered, it at least serves to show the high estimation in 
which the plant was held in China. 

The first literary eulogist to espouse the cause of the 
new drink in Europe was Edmund Waller, reciting how 
he became first induced to taste it. In a poem containing 
several references to the leaf occurs the following preg- 
nant allusion to tea : 

11 The muses friend doth our fancy aid, 
Repress these vapors which the head invade, 
Keeping that palace of the soul serene." 

That Queen Anne ranked among its votaries is mani- 
fest from Pope's celebrated couplet: 

" Though great Anna, whom the realms obey, 
Doth sometimes counsel take and sometimes Tea.** 

Johnson did not make verses in its honor, but he has 
drawn his own portrait as " a hardened and shameless tea 


drinker, who for twenty years diluted his meals with an 
infusion of this fascinating plant, whose kettle had scarcely 
time to cool, who with tea amused the evening, with tea 
solaced the night, and with tea welcomed the morning." 
While Brady, in his well-known metrical version of the 
psalms, thus illustrates its advantages : 

" Over our tea conversations we employ, 
Where with delight instructions we enjoy, 
Quaffing without waste of time or wealth 
The soverign drink of pleasure and of health" 

Cooper's praise of the beverage has been sadly hack- 
neyed, nevertheless, as the Laureate of the tea table, his 
lines are worthy of reproduction here : 

" While the bubbling and loud hissing urn 
Throws up a steaming column, and the cup 
That cheers, but not inebriates, wait on each, 
So let us welcome peaceful evening in." 

That Coleridge, in his younger days, must have liked 
tea is inferred from the following stanza : 

" Though all unknown to Greek and Roman song, 
The paler Hyson and the dark Souchong, 
Which Kieu-lung, imperial poet praised 
So high that cent, per cent, its price was raised." 

Gray eulogizing it : 

" Through all the room 
From flowing tea exhales a fragrant fume." 

Byron, in his latter years, became an enthusiast on the 
use of tea, averring that he " Must have recourse to 
black Bohea," still later pronouncing Green tea to be 
the " Chinese nymph of tears." And in addition to the 
praises sung to it by English-speaking poets and essayists, 
its virtues have also been sounded by Herricken and 
Francius in Greek verse, by Pecklin, in Latin epigraphs, 


by Pierre Pettit, in a poem of five hundred lines, as well 
as by a German versifier, who celebrated, in a fashion of 
his own, " The burial and happy resurrection of tea." In 
opposition to the " country parson," who calls tea " a 
nerveless and vaporous liquid," and Balzac, who describes 
it as an " insipid and depressing beverage," the author 
of " Eothen " records his testimony to " the cheering, 
soothing influence of the steaming cup that Orientals 
and Europeans alike enjoy." 

first direct importation of tea into England 
was in 1669, and consisted of but "100 pounds 
of the best tea that could be procured." In 1678 
this order was increased to 4,713 pounds, which appears 
to have " glutted the market;" the following six years the 
total importations amounting to only 410 pounds during 
that entire period. How little was it possible from 
these figures to have foreseen that tea would one day 
become one of the most important articles of foreign 
productions consumed. 

Up to 1864 China and Japan were practically the only 
countries producing teas for commercial purposes. In 
that year India first entered the list as an exporter 
of tea, being subsequently followed by Java and Ceylon. 
In 1864, when India first entered the list of tea-pro- 
ducing countries, China furnished fully 97 per cent. 
of the world's supply and India only 3, the latter increas- 
ing at such a marvelous rate that it now furnishes 57, 
China declining to 43 per cent, of the total. 




1,000,000,000 ' 





50 ooo ooo 

. r.. ' 






20 000,000 





Fiji Islands, . . . 
South Africa, . . . 



Total, 1,270,100,000 495,050,000 


From tnese estimates it will be noted that China ranks 
first in tea-producing countries, followed by Japan, India, 
Ceylon and Java in the order of their priority; the 
total product of the other countries having little or no 
effect as yet on the world's supply. 

This most important food auxiliary is now in daily 
use as a beverage by probably over one-half the popula- 
tion of the entire world, civilized as well as savage, the 
following being the principal countries of consumption : 


Consumption Per capita 

Countries. (Pounds). (Pounds). 

Austria, ..... 1,000,000 0.03 

Australia ..... 18,000,000 4.50 

Belgium ..... 130,000 0.03 

China ...... 800,000,000 3'QO 

Canada, ..... 23,000,000 4.00 

Central Asia, . . . 13,000,000 . . . 

Denmark, .... 850,000 0.37 

France, ..... 1,250,000 0.03 

Germany ..... 4,000,000 0.09 

Holland ..... 5,000,000 1.20 

Italy ....... 60,000 o.oi 

India, ..... 5,000,000 . . . 

Japan, ..... 50,000,000 4.00 

Java ....... 5,009,000 i. oo 

Norway, ..... 165,000 0.09 

New Zealand, ... 4 500,000 7.50 

Portugal, .... 600,000 o.i 2 

R'issia, ..... 100,000,000 1.70 

Spain, ..... 275,000 0.02 

Sweden, ..... 150,000 0.03 

Switzerland, . . 150,000 0.08 

South Africa, . . 600,000 0.80 

South America, . 12,000,000 0.03 

Straits Settlements, 1,000,000 . . . 

United States, . . 82,000,000 1.50 

United Kingdom, 180,000,000 5.94 

West Indies, . . 300,000 0.03 

Total, ..... 1,308,039,000 1.67 

From these estimates it will be observed that England 

ranks first in the list of tea-consuming countries, the 


United States second, and Russia third, the Australian 
colonies and Canada coming next in order, comparatively 
little tea being used in France, Germany and the other 
European countries. It is rarely used in some parts of 
the globe, and is practically unknown in a great many 
other countries. It is also apparent that 90 per cent, of 
the world's supply is chiefly consumed by English-speak- 
ing people, fully 75 per cent, of this being used by Eng- 
land and her dependencies alone, the United States being 
next in importance as a tea-consuming country. And it 
may here be noted that while the world's production of tea 
has been very largely increased during the last quarter of 
a century in greater ratio than that of any other of the 
great staples of commerce, the production of China and 
Japan having increased at least 50 per cent, in that period, 
to which must be added that of India and Ceylon, from 
which countries little or none was received until a few 
years ago. Yet it cannot be said that the consumption 
has increased in anything like the same proportion, which 
will account for the great decline in price in later years, 
and to prevent prices from going still lower it is evident 
that new markets must be opened up for its sale in other 
countries where it has not yet been introduced. 



World's Production, ....... 1,377,600,000 

" Consumption, ...... 1,307,130,000 

Surplus, 70,470,000 


8uantity exported, 503,100,000 

onsumption in non-producing countries, 432,630,000 

Surplus 70,470,000 

In England, particularly, the increase in the consump- 
tion of tea in late years borders on the marvelous, the 


figures for 1890 reaching upwards of 1 95, 000,000 pounds, 
which, at the present rate of increase, will, in all prob- 
ability, exceed 200,000,000 in 1892, as in the quarter of 
a century between 1865 and 1890 the consumption rose 
from 3X to 5 pounds per capita of the population. But 
as in the latter half of that period strong India teas were 
more freely used, being increased appreciably by the 
similar Ceylon product in the closing years of that time 
largely displacing the lighter liquored teas of China, a 
larger consumption is indicated by the number of gallons 
of liquid yielded. This is calculated on the moderate 
estimate formed in a report to the Board of Custom to 
the effect that if one pound of China leaf produces five 
gallons of liquor of a certain depth of color and body, 
one pound of India tea will yield seven and a half 
gallons of a similar beverage. Then by allowing for an 
apparent arrest of the advancing consumption when the 
process of displacement was only commencing, the 
increase in the consumption of tea in the British Islands 
has not only been steady but rapid ; thus, from 17 gallons 
per head in 1865 to 24 in 1876, 28 in 1886, reaching 
33/4 gallons per head per annum in 1890, the figures of 
last year almost exactly doubling that of the first year of 
the series, so that in consequence of the introduction of 
the stronger products of India and Ceylon the people of 
Britain have been enabled to double their consumption 
of the beverage, although the percentage of increase in 
the leaf has been only from 3^ to 5 pounds during the 
same period. Ceylon tea, which a decade ago was only 
beginning to intrude itself as a new and suspiciously re- 
garded competitor in the English market with products 
so well known and established as the teas of China and 
India, has recently made such rapid progress that its 
position in the British market in 1890, rated by home 


consumption, occupying third place on the list. India 
teas 52 per cent, China 30 per cent, Ceylon 18 per cent 

Showing relative positions of kinds of Tea con- 
sumed in England, and increase in pounds of same since 

Kind. 1880. 1885. 1890. 

China, . . . 126,000,000 113,500,000 60,000,000 
India, . . . 34,000,000 65,500,000 95,000,000 
Ceylon, ... ...... 3,000,000 24,000,000 

*n 1 868, when the price of tea was reduced in England 
to an average of 36 cents per pound, the consumption 
increased to the heretofore unprecedented figures of 
107,000,000 pounds, while in 1888, when the average price 
was again reduced to 20 cents, owing to the enormous 
increase in the production of India and Ceylon teas, the 
total consumption became augmented to 185,000,000 
pounds, comprised as follows, in round numbers : 

Kinds. Pounds. 

China teas, ........... 80,000,000 

India and Ceylon teas ........ 105,000,000 

Total, 185,000,000 

The latter, for the first time on record, exceeding that 
of China teas, being an almost exact inversion of the 
figures of 1886 in favor of India and Ceylon teas, by which 
it will be seen that China is year by year becoming of less 
importance as a source of tea supply to English consum- 
ers. And as the demand becomes greater the importations 
from India and Ceylon are constantly expanding, prices 
being correspondingly reduced to an unprecedentedly 
low figure, being now so cheap in the United Kingdom 
as to be in daily use in almost every household. The 


relative positions of China, India and Ceylon teas in 
Kngland at the present writing being 

Kind. Consumption, 


India (estimated), 105,000,000 

China " 50,000,000 

Ceylon " . 35,000,000 

Total, . 180,000,000 

The proportion of Black tea consumed in England is 
about as 5 to I, the per capita consumption, ranging from 
5 to 6 pounds for the entire population. 

Ceylon teas continue to grow in public favor to a 
marvelous extent in England and beyond anticipating in 
the natural growth of consumption, they help fill up the 
yearly displacement of China teas. The total produc- 
tion for 1890 was nearly 38,000,000 pounds against over 
30,000,000 pounds for 1889, and 18,500,000 pounds for 
1888, thus showing an increase of 19,500,000 pounds for 
the two years. The supply for 1891 is about 40,000,000 
pounds, the stock being increased 3,000,000 pounds, 
which may be considered very moderate and quite steady 
considering the steady all-round demand there is for Cey- 
lon teas in that country. But there is not the slightest 
doubt but that the check which the consumption of China 
tea appears to have sustained in England is entirely due 
to the forced use of India and Ceylon teas in that country 
and her dependencies, there being a positive revulsion of 
taste in many sections in favor of the truer, purer and 
more delicate and richer of China teas. Medical opinions 
have been recently given to prove that the excessive 
quantity of tannin contained in India and Ceylon teas is 
very injurious to health, and a revival of the Chinese tea- 
trade may be confidently expected in the future. 

So far as the English tea-trade is concerned the mar- 
ket for China and Japan teas is now but a tame affair to 


what it was only a few years ago, little interest being 
taken there in the tea product of these countries. Year 
by year since 1885 China and Japan teas has had less 
hold upon the English market, and it is remarkable to 
note how continuously the consumption of these varieties 
have been on the decline there from that time, notwith- 
standing their superior merits in drawing and drinking 
qualities over both India and Ceylons. In that year their 
consumption in the British isles amounted to over 
113,000,000 pounds, but fell off to less than 105,000,000 
pounds in 1886, to about 90,000,000 in 1887, to 80,000,000 
in 1 888, to 60,000,000 in 1 889. The quantity of China and 
Japan teas consumed in the whole United Kingdom declin- 
ing to about 50,000,000 pounds in 1890, although the prices 
for them were exceedingly low during that period. 
There are two main causes for this serious reduction 
which have been in operation simultaneously and for a 
length of time. The first was the great competition of 
India teas stimulated for the reasons already named, and 
the second cause the extraordinary favor that Ceylon 
teas found with English consumers in 1888, when the 
quantity imported for use from that island amounted to 
18,500,000 pounds, or nearly double of what it was the 
preceding year, the quantities cleared for 1889 and 1890 
being respectively 28,500,000 pounds and 34,500,000 
pounds, showing an astonishing increase within the short 
space of three years, and which fully accounts for the 
decadence of the English demand for China and Japan 
teas. The consumption of the latter varieties has retro- 
graded there, while that for India and Ceylon teas has 
increased proportionately, so that, although the market 
for the former descriptions has occasionally given signs 
of revival, they have been only spasmodic efforts at 
recovering, the much expected and promised reaction 


soon subsiding. And instead of the phenomenal cheap- 
ness of China and Japans being regarded as a recom- 
mendation to consumers it has been used as an argument 
by British dealers as an evidence of their unpopularity, 
and so completely has the demand been transferred 
from China and Japan teas to Indias and Ceylons that it 
has been no uncommon occurrence for the latter kinds 
to be selling at improving rates whilst the former descrip- 
tions have been disposable only at drooping prices. 

The enormous size of the tea estates in India and 
Ceylon as compared with the small gardens of China 
and Japan give the growers in the former countries 
several advantages over those in the latter as they can 
be worked more systematically and with less expense in 
larger areas. The use of machinery in curing and firing 
also lessens the cost of preparation for market, together 
with a saving in freight and quicker sale consequent to 
English preferences giving a speedier return for the 
money invested. The advantages which India and Ceylon 
tea-growers have over those of China are greater com- 
mand of capital, as in both India and Ceylon tea estates 
are generally owned by companies consisting of share- 
holders whose living is not dependent on the product of 
the plantations. The companies can consequently afford 
to carry on the business at a loss for several years, can 
purchase extensive tea lands, and can spend large sums 
on machinery, labor and experiments as well as on agents 
to introduce and distribute them. The India and Ceylon 
tea-growers can obtain loans at a lower rate of interest, 
borrowing money at from 4 to 5 per cent., while their 
Chinese competitors have to pay from 20 to 30 per cent, 
for the same accommodations, in addition to a command 
of better chemical and agricultural knowledge. But 
against these admitted advantages of India and Ceylon, 


China possesses one great advantage, that is, that the 
Chinese grower, working' for himself instead of wages, 
brings greater care and more industry to the task. 
Experience with him takes the place of science, and he is 
thus enabled to produce a finer flavored tea than has yet 
or ever will be produced in either India or Ceylon. Again 
the great decline in the consumption of China teas in 
England and her dependencies cannot be attributed, as is 
so loudly proclaimed by her statisticians,to any falling offin 
the quality of China teas or any inherent merit possessed 
by those of India or Ceylon, but simply to the narrow 
and contracted policy of her merchants of favoring and 
forcing the product of her colonies to the prejudice if not 
positive exclusion of that of the older tea-growing 

In 1865 China exported over 120,000,000 pounds of 
tea, in 1870 nearly 170,000,000 pounds, in 1880 over 
214,000,000 pounds, reaching the enormous total of 
221,000,000 pounds in 1890, thus China's export has 
also been increasing in a proportionate degree. But 
although the figures for 1870 and 1890 show that in 
twenty years it has nearly doubled, still it is not such a 
remarkable increase relatively when compared with that 
of India, which during the same period has increased 
nearly fourteen fold in quantity. In estimating the 
probability of a recovery in the position of China teas 
in the markets of the world the following considerations 
are of interest on the subject: First, It is well known 
that the heavy Likin (grower's tax) Kutang (transit 
dues) and export duties levied on tea have contributed 
in a great measure to the decadence of the tea-trade in 
that country and to the development of that of India and 
Ceylon, where the article, at least, starts free and unencum- 
bered. The Chinese laboring under this disadvantage, at 


the outset, have endeavored to compete with India and 
Ceylon by reducing the cost of production and lowering 
their standard of quality with a consequent deterioration 
in the grade of the leaf. This changed condition of 
the tea-trade may be attributed to these specific causes. 
Fifty years ago India and Ceylon produced no tea, as it 
was not until 1840 that the export from the former 
began with a small venture of 400 pounds, since that 
year, however, the increase has been both rapid 'and 
striking. Thus, commencing in 1840, the export has 
steadily increased year after year until now, when the 
average annual production reaches 100,000,000 pounds, of 
which England consumes some 97,000,000 pounds, the 
balance going to Australia and other of her colonies. 
It is contended by the Chinese themselves that if the 
Likin and export duties were removed entirely or the 
export duty alone reduced to an ad valorem charge of 5 
per cent, it would greatly help those engaged in the 
China tea-trade in their competition with the growers 
and shippers of India and Ceylon, others holding that 
a simple reduction of the duty will not permanently 
benefit the China tea-trade unless it enables China to lay 
down teas in Europe and America at a less price than 
can be done by either India or Ceylon. 

Russia is now regarded as the main hope of Chinese 
Congous and sorts, the British islands consuming 
Indias and Ceylons almost exclusively, the United States 
favoring Oolongs and Japans principally. The trade in 
China teas with Russia is increasing annually, while it is 
decreasing with England. In former years tea was first 
shipped to England and thence to Russia, the Russian 
tea-dealers now purchasing direct from China. The 
Russian demand seems, in fact, to grow as fast as that 
from England declines, constituting a total which is 


hardly suspected by those who are interested in the trade, 
so that, although ousted from her monopoly, China has 
still a great market for her produce. 

Great quantities of tea are consumed in the domains of 
the Czar and it is believed that the Russians use as much 
tea per capita as the Chinese themselves. The "Sam- 
ovar " or tea-urn is always steaming and the natives never 
cease sipping tea while there is water left to make it. It is 
served at all hours of the day, in palace as well as hovel, 
being regarded as much a necessary of life there as bread 
or tobacco. Shops abound for its sale in the principal 
cities ; bargains made and business transactions sealed 
over steaming tumblers of tea. 

The earliest official record of the importation of Tea 
into the United States is in 1790, the order of increase for 
its importation, value and consumption in the country by 
decades since that year being as follows : 

Imports, Value. Consumption Average 

Year. Pounds. per capita. Import 


I800, . . 

1810, . . 

1820, . . 

1830, . . 

1840, . . 

1850, . . 

1860, . . 

1870, . . 

1880, . . 

1890, . . 

The first duty levied on tea by the United States was 
in 1789, when a tax of 15 cents was imposed on all Black 
teas, 22 cents on Imperial and Gunpowder, and 55 cents 
on Young Hyson. But in order to stimulate American 



















1. 10 







13 360,685 




shipping these duties were reduced to 8, 13 and 26 cents 
respectively, the following year, when imported from 
Europe in American vessels, and to 6, 10 and 20 cents 
when imported direct from China in the same manner. 
In 1794, however, the rates were increased 75 per cent. 
on direct importations, and 100 per cent, on all teas 
shipped from Europe, but again reduced to 12, 18 and 32 
cents in 1796, the latter rates being doubled during the 
War of 1812. In 1828 this tax was again reduced, being 
entirely removed in 1830, except when imported in for- 
eign bottoms, when a duty of 10 cents per pound was 
collected. The latter rate continued in force up to the 
outbreak of the Rebellion in 1861, when a uniform duty 
of 1 5 cents per pound was placed on all teas, which was 
eventually increased to 20 cents and finally to 25 cents 
per pound. In January, 1871, this duty was reduced to 
15 cents, being entirely removed in July, 1872, since 
which year tea has been uninterruptedly on the free list 
in the United States. 

Showing net imports, value and per capita consumption 

of tea in the United States, from 1885 to 1891, inclusive : 

Net Imports, Value. Per Capita, 

Year. Pounds. Pounds. 

1880, .... 69,894,760 $18,983,368 .39 

1881, .... 79,130,849 20,225,418 .54 

1882, .... 77,191,060 18,975,045 1.47 

1883, .... 69,597,945 16,278,894 .30 

1884, .... 60,061,944 12,313,200 .09 

1885, .... 65,374,365 13,135.782 .18 

1886, .... 78,873,151 15,485,265 .37 

1887, .... 87,481,186 16,365,633 .49 

1888, .... 83,944,547 13,154,171 .40 
1889 ..... 79,192,253 I2,56l,8l2 .28 

1890, .... 83,494,956 12,219,633 .33 

1891. .... 82,395,924 13.639.785 -32 


Estimated average annual Quantity and Value of tea 
imported into the United States : 

Countries. Quantity, Value. 

China, ..... 43,000,000 $7,000,000 

Japan, ..... 38,000,000 5,500,000 

India, ..... 100,000 20,000 

Java, ..... 200,000 30,000 

Ceylon, ..... 100,000 20,000 

England, .... 3,000,000 650,000 

Ireland, .... 1,000 500 

Scotland, .... 12,000 2,500 

Germany, .... 10,000 2,000 

Russia, ..... 200 60 

Belgium, .... 50 25 

Canada, .... 300,000 50,000 

Total, . . . 85,000,000 $13,000,000 

The average annual exports range from 1,000,000 to 
5,000,000 pounds. 

Showing varieties most in demand in the United 
States : 

Varieties. Kinds. Quantity, 


Oolong, ..... (Formosa), . . . 10,000,000 

" ... (Amoy and Foochow), . 8,000,000 

Green Teas, . . . (all kinds), . . , 10,000,000 

Japans, ..... ... 38,000,000 

Pekoes and Congous, (China), . . . 10,000,000 

India, Java and Ceylon, ....... 6,000,000 

Total, ........... 82,000,000 

During the fiscal year ending June 30, 1 890, there was 
imported into the United States, at all ports, 84,627,870 
pounds of tea, of which 43,043,651 pounds were received 
from China and 37,627,560 pounds from Japan, the bal- 
ance consisting of imports from India, Java and Ceylon, 


received via England and Holland. The United States 
official reports show that tea represents 27 per cent, of 
the total value of imported merchandise into this 
country. The gross trade in the article, however, even 
at retail prices, does not exceed $35,000,000, the 
total annual value of all food products being about 
$220,000,000, of which tea only represents a value of 
$13,000,000, equivalent to about 6 per cent, of the 

In round numbers the consumption of tea in the prin- 
cipal importing countries has increased from 350,000,000 
pounds in 1880 to upwards of 400,000,000 pounds in 1892. 
To which may be added for the minor consuming coun- 
tries another 60,000,000 pounds, in which case we get a 
grand total of 460,000,000 pounds. Tea consumption in 
India and Ceylon is scarce worth computing, and it is 
also claimed that the consumption in China has been 
greatly exaggerated, for although the Chinese drink tea 
constantly much of the liquor is little different from hot 
water, so that to credit China and her feudatories with 
another 500,000,000 pounds would be an extravagant 
estimate. But, admitting it to be near the mark, we may 
then take in round numbers 1,000,000,000 pounds of leaf, 
or say 6,000,000,000 gallons, as the world's annual con- 
sumption of tea. But it is confidently predicted that 
if peace be preserved and wealth and civilization continues 
to advance that much greater increase during the closing 
years of the present century and the whole of. the twen- 
tieth century for large portions of mankind are at length 
discovering that alcohol with its " borrowed fire " is a 
deceiver and a curse. If the civilization of an age or a 
community can be tested by the quantity of sulphuric 
acid which it uses, much more certainly can the moral 
status of a time and a people be j udged by a comparison 


of the quantities of alcoholic and non-alcoholic stimulants 
it uses. 

All teas have declined one-half in value during the past 
ten years, owing to the increased production of India and 
Ceylon, the position of the market at the present time is, 
however, unique and unusual. Heretofore the rule has 
been for the supply to exceed the demand, particularly 
of China tea, it being the custom to claim that the market 
would never run short of the latter, as the production 
could be increased to meet any sudden or excessive de- 
mand. Now, however, the position is entirely different, 
the shortage in China tea the past year reaching some 
21,000,000 pounds, to which must be added the increase 
in consumption of 11,500,000 pounds, due in a measure 
to the reduction of the duty in England, against which 
deficit is to be placed the increase of production in India 
of 3,000,000 pounds, and that of Ceylon of 15,000,000 
pounds, but still leaving a shortage of 14,000,000 
pounds. This position has led to an advance in China 
common grades, part of which is undoubtedly due to 
speculation. With decreased imports and increased con- 
sumption in the market, however, appears to have all the 
requisite of strength to sustain it, and it will be years 
before it reaches its late low point again. 

With the great reduction in importation price and 
keener competition the retail prices have been brought 
down to a very low figure, and as the dealer has edu- 
cated the public to the purchase of poor teas at low 
prices it is not likely that the retail prices of teas will ever 
reach any higher figure unless war or other cause should 
lead to a duty being placed on the article. Yet, notwith- 
standing these unprecedented low prices, the per capita 
consumption of tea is comparatively very low in this 
country at the present time, one of the chief causes 


being traceable to the custom prevalent among dealers 
of charging exorbitant profits in order to make up for 
the losses made in other goods. This impolitic practice 
may be forgiven were it not for the greater mistake they 
make of sacrificing quality to profit, which in articles of 
daily use like tea is an important consideration. By 
rectifying this error, and giving more attention to the 
careful selection of their teas, there is no valid reason 
why the consumption of tea in this country could not 
at the least calculation be doubled, more particularly in 
the present state of the coffee market, as it is generally 
calculated that one pound of good* tea equals four pounds 
of coffee in amount and strength of its extract, besides 
being cheaper and more convenient to prepare. Under 
these circumstances it may be assumed that there is no 
probability of any material change in the cost of tea to 
the dealer and there should be no further reduction in 
the selling price to the consumer, any further reduction 
in the retail price involving a diminution of profit which 
the trade can ill afford to bear at the present time. 


IN 1858 the United States Government ordered and 
received about 10,000 tea-plants from China in 
Wardian cases in which the seeds were sown just 
previous to shipment, many of them germinated dur- 
ing the voyage, the plants averaging 18 inches in height 
on their arrival in this country. Being immediately 
placed under propagation they were in a very short time 
increased to over 30,000, which were widely distributed 
throughout the Southern States, the propagation and dis- 
tribution of tea-plants forming a prominent feature in the 
operations of the Agricultural Department up to the 
commencement of the civil war in 1861, which put a stop 
to all experiments in the industry. For several years 
after its close but little attention was given to the propa- 
gation of the plant in this country, still at no time was 
it entirely abandoned by the Department during this 
period. It being fully understood, that so far as the 
growth of the plant was concerned it could undoubtedly 
be successfully cultivated over a large extent of the 
country. But many of those interested sharing in the 
belief that the amount and cost of the manual labor 
required in its manipulation for market was so great as 
to preclude the probability of competing with low-waged 
Asiatics, no special efforts were again made to dissemi- 
nate plants or to multiply them further than to supply 
such applicants as desired to make experimental tests. 


Meanwhile the progress of tea-culture in India was 
watched with interest. The successful results of modern 
methods of cultivation and the introduction of various 
labor-saving machines for preparation which were being 
made from time to time by the planters of that country, 
suggesting the probability that the production of tea 
could eventually be made a profitable industry in many 
sections of this country, where labor-saving appliances 
usually follow closely upon the knowledge of their 
necessity. Basing their hopes on these results, fresh 
supplies of tea-seed were subsequently imported from 
Japan, which enabled the Department to again distribute 
many thousand of plants throughout the country. 
These renewed efforts being materially enhanced, when 
about 1867 it was found that an abundance of tea-seeds 
could be procured in many of the Southern States from 
the plants which had previously been disseminated from 
the importation of 1858. Encouraged by the reports of 
successful culture which were in many cases supple- 
mented by samples of manufactured tea, of undoubted 
good quality, in a number of instances, more decided 
and energetic efforts were made toward establishing the 
industry. More than 100,000 tea-plants were distributed 
during the past ten years, the Department having under 
propagation, at the present time, over 20,000 plants which 
are ready for dissemination in localities where they are 
most likely to succeed. By this means it is expected to 
popularize the cultivation of tea as a domestic product 
in this country, with the hope that public interest will in 
time be directed to its cultivation as an article of com- 
mercial value also. 

The cultivation of the tea-plant is as simple as that of 
the currant or gooseberry, and tea-gardens may be estab- 
lished in a similar manner to those of other economic 


plants. They are usually divided into five and ten- 
acre sections, and in laying out must be kept as much as 
possible together, being easier to supervise and cheaper 
to work in this manner. The usual custom is to begin 
at one end and dig through to the other, as different 
parts of the garden may require different treatment owing 
to a variation in the soil or other causes. The lines 
of plants must run as far as practicable in geometrical 
regularity, particularly in sloping ground, never up and 
down or directly across the slope. If planted in the 
former manner, gutters or watercourses will form between 
the lines and the soil will be washed away, and if in the 
latter, the same injury will result between the shrubs, 
The lower side of each plant having its roots laid bare, 
the sun will act upon them, thereby causing the plants 
to shrivel up, languish and die. But if the lines are laid 
diagonally across the hill so that the slopes along the 
lines shall be moderate ones, this drawback is reduced as 
far as can be under the circumstances. The closer the 
lines to each other and the closer the plants in the lines 
the less will be the wash. While on flat lands it does 
not signify in which direction the lines run, the gardens 
so situated always looks best when the lines run at right 

That the successful cultivation of the Tea plant is 
entirely practicable in the United States has been abun- 
dantly proven, and that we may by a more extensive and 
intelligent effort in this direction, save the large amount 
of money which we now annually pay to foreign coun- 
tries for this staple is at least worth a trial. So far as its 
practicability is concerned there can be no question, as we 
have within the various latitudes of our borders the soil 
and climate to produce any plant that is or may be grown 
in any other country. The doubts expressed as to the 


suitability of our soil and climate to produce as good an 
article of tea as is now grown in India, Java and Ceylon 
are untenable, all practical farmers being aware that 
soils and climates exert certain influences upon all vege- 
tation, these same influences being potent everywhere, 
and that natural causes are not spasmodic in their opera- 
tions anywhere. The latitudes in which teas are grown 
in China, Japan and India correspond exactly with those 
of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Florida in the south, 
and with that of Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama in the 

But while the question of making its production a 
commercial success is conceded by many authorities, 
some contend that while we can undoubtedly cultivate tea 
of fair quality in many sections of the country, we cannot 
supply the cheap and skilled labor necessary to prepare 
it for market, advancing the argument that from the time 
the leaves are picked until they are packed for export 
they are subjected to a continued series of manipulations, 
demanding an immense amount of such labor without 
which it is next to impossible to produce a merchantable 
article. But while it is admitted that the greater part of 
the cost of tea in the producing countries is that of 
labor, it must be taken into account that much of the 
manipulation and packing of tea in these countries is for 
the purpose of fitting it for the ocean voyages, and to 
protect it during transportation the leaves must be 
repeatedly fired and sorted before shipping, in order to 
better protect them from damp and moisture in transit. 
But even with all these extra firings and precautions 
the original aroma developed by these processes is 
largely dissipated before the. tea reaches its destination in 
the importing countries. It is a well-established fact 
that the best teas are only to be had in their highest 


excellence in the countries of growth, and then only before 
they have been submitted to the severity of all the home 
processes which they have to undergo previous to being 
packed in the lead-lined chests for the long voyages in 
the holds of vessels. This superior article is entirely 
unknown in the consuming countries, and is one of the 
luxuries in store for us when tea-culture becomes one 
of our industries. Thus, seeing that much of the care 
bestowed upon the manufacture of tea is merely for 
the purpose of meeting these commercial exactions, 
both in regard to protecting its flavor as well as to its 
appearance on arrival, it may be that by ignoring mere 
appearance and style, as equally good a beverage may 
be produced by an entirely different system of prepara- 
tion of the leaf for the home market. What has 
already been accomplished by modern tea-manufacturers 
in the way of improvements in India and Ceylon for 
instance, upon the older pessimistic Chinese methods 
only too aptly suggests that still further innovations 
are yet possible. We secure the essential virtues 
of other herbs and leaves without subjecting them 
to such complicated and intricate processes, which, 
after all, are mainly for the purpose of preventing the 
leaves from moulding and decomposition in transit, and 
there is no valid reason why tea should differ from the 
leaves of other plants in this respect. 

Yet while admitting that the manufacture of tea as at 
present conducted is, no doubt, a very particular and 
tedious one, and that much of its supposed value is 
dependent upon the uniform accuracy with which the 
various processes are performed, this is more particularly 
true of China tea where the difficulty is largely attribut- 
able to the primitive nature of the methods employed 
there, as contrasted with the more modern specific and 


exact system in use in India and other tea-growing 
countries. It is yet possible for our inventors to produce 
machinery for still further simplifying many of the intri- 
cate processes now in use even in India and Ceylon. 
The planters of the latter countries soon discovered 
that they could not profitably follow the various minute 
and detailed processes practiced by the Chinese and set 
themselves to study the philosophy of the whole subject 
of preparing the leaf for market, eventually mastering it. 
The result has been that many operations which were 
previously considered essential have now been either 
reduced or dispensed with altogether in that country. 
Instead of following the antiquated Chinese methods, 
which involved some twelve different operations, occupy- 
ing three days, the best India teas are now prepared in 
less than five operations, the entire process being com- 
pleted inside of two days. It may therefore be found 
that for home use a less elaborate method of preparation 
may suffice and that the article might enter into domestic 
commerce. It could be prepared after the simple but 
effective manner of Paraguayan tea, or put up in bales as 
with hops, or it may be pressed into layers of dried leaves, 
as is done with senna tea, and many other herbs at the 
present time. The firing, which develops the aroma, 
might be done immediately before use, as is now the case 
with coffee, or better still, roasted and ground like that 
article, the modern cylindrical method of roasting coffee 
being a great improvement on the old style of hand and 
pan roasting. Machinery being unknown to the Chinese 
is probable the strongest reason why they still adhere so 
closely to the antiquated methods now in use there. 

But while it is probable that many years will- elapse 
before tea-culture will engage the general attention of 
farmers and planters in this country, still there is no good 


reason why it should be so. True, the profits of tea-cul- 
ture are as yet not clearly established, the management of 
the plant and the proper application of the various pro- 
cesses must be for many years, as in India and Ceylon, 
of a purely experimental character, and even when seem- 
ingly fair tests have been made failures will still occur, and 
although these efforts may be traced to causes, which 
persistent effort would eventually overcome, yet when 
there is a large outlay and loss, accompanied with some 
doubts of ultimate success, the efforts in most cases will 
be abandoned. 

It has been suggested that the United States Govern- 
ment could, at a comparative small cost to it, materially 
assist in determining and demonstrating the feasibility of 
tea-culture in this country, finally solving the question of 
profit. These questions could all be answered satisfac- 
torily and definitely in a very few years if our Govern- 
ment were to secure say twenty acres of land in a 
suitable locality and plant a portion of it yearly with tea 
plants, until ten or more acres were planted. Then, 
when the plants had become sufficiently matured, provide 
a small laboratory fitted with the necessary modern 
apparatus, placing it in the charge of a competent man- 
ager who could make such experiments in the prepara- 
tion of the leaf as may be suggested by those interested 
in the enterprise. 

In a special report of the Department of Agriculture 
issued in 1877, we find the following extracts from letters 
submitted by cultivators of the tea-plant in the United 
States : 

Mr. Thomas M. Cox, Greenville, S. C, says : 

I obtained, in 1857, from the Patent Office, a box of tea-plants. I 
gave the most of them away, and retained a few myself. They have 
grown well without any protection, in the open air, and have attained 


a height of from 8 to 10 feet. They have frequently matured the 
seed, and there are a number of the seed on the ground at this 
time. They are an evergreen in this climate, and are now in 
flower, with the seed of last year's growth fully matured upon the 
bush. I have never succeeded in making tea from the leaves, not 
knowing the process of manipulating it. 

Mr. J. J. Lucas, Society Hill, S. C, states : 

The tea-plant has been grown successfully in this State, Georgia 
and Louisiana ; General Gillespie's particularly thriving well. On 
the Middletown place, Ashley river, near Charleston, tea-plants 
are now growing for ornamental use only, and are 10 feet high. 
A gentleman in Georgia obtained 441 pounds of tea from one acre 
of land, which, at 50 cents a pound, would bring $220.50 ; while 
our average yield of cotton is only about $15 per acre." 

Dr. Turner Wilson, Windsor, N. C., writes : 

I have been raising tea since 1858, but without much cultivation. 
My yard and garden are sandy soil, and the plants or bushes, with- 
out any cultivation, are of slow growth. I plant the seed about the 
ist of April, but they come up under the bushes very thick from the 
fallen seed. Sometimes I throw a little dirt on the seed which I do 
not pick up. I have several hundred plants under the bushes, 
from 4 to 12 inches high, and about fifty in my front yard. I send 
you a package of Green tea-leaves, blossoms, and a few seed in 
capsules. I have no person that understands curing the leaves, 
but will send a package of the dried leaves, as I term them. I 
frequently drink a sample infusion of the leaves dried in the shade, 
and though not so good as the Chinese preparation, yet I know 
that I am drinking the pure tea, without any coloring matter. 

James H. Rion, Esq., Winsboro, S. C., says : 

I have no experience in the making of tea, but can certify to the 
adaptability of the soil and climate of my section to the growth of 
the plant itself. In the fall of 1859, I received from the Patent 
Office, Washington, a very tiny tea-plant, which I placed in my 
flower-garden as a curiosity. It has grown well, has always been 
free from any disease, has had full out-door exposure, and attained 
its present height (5 feet 8 inches) in the year 1865. It is continu- 
ally producing healthy seedlings. This shows that the plant finds 


itself entirely at home where it is growing. There cannot be the 
least doubt but that the tea-plant will flourish in South Carolina 

Mr. W. M. Ives, Jr., Lake City, Fla., suggests : 

Tea cultivation might be made profitable here, but our people 
do not pay enough attention to such objects as promise returns in 
future years. The method of drying the leaves is a very simple 
process. Many families already possess a number of tea-plants, 
but they grow them simply for their beauty and novelty. It has 
been proven that tea can be grown in Georgia as well as in Florida. 

Dr. A. W. Thornton, Portland, Ore., declares : 

That the tea-plant is admirably suited to Northern California and 
Southern Oregon I have no question ; more especially as the light 
on the coast is so abundantly charged with actinic rays, as shown 
by the richness of the foliage and gorgeous tints of the fruits and 
autumnal foliage, whicn supports the view that any plant, the active 
principle of which is located in the leaves, would prima facie yield 
a richer product where actinic rays are abundant (which are known 
to have an important influence upon chlorophyl and leaf develop- 
ment) than in less favored climes. Some years ago, Mr. Samuel 
Brannan started the cultivation of tea at Calistogo, in Napa county, 
California, but through some mismanagement at the outset the 
crop did not succeed. But to this day solitary plants can be seen 
in that locality, exhibiting vigorous growth, proving the suitability 
of both soil and climate. Since that time a gentleman has started 
a plantaticn of tea at Modesta, in the foot-hills of the Sierra Nevada 
mountains, Stanislaus county, California, in which the plants have 
done so well that from the last accounts he was so far encouraged 
as to extend his plantation. 

Mr. Arthur P. Ford, Charleston, S. C., says: 

About four or five years ago I obtained from a friend some seeds 
of the tea-plant, and planted them in my garden, twenty-one miles 
from Charleston, inland. The plants came up readily, were duly 
transplanted, and are now fine shrubs three feet high, and seven 
in number. The foliage is luxuriant; and the plants bear the 
coldest weather here without any ill effects, the mercury on more 
than one occasion marking 16, the plants being encased in ice at 
other times also. 


William Summer, Esq., Newberry, S. C., states : 

There are several healthy, vigorous tea-plants growing in Colum- 
bia. I have seen, at the Greenville residence of the late Hon. J. R. 
Poinsett, the tea-plants growing finely from those introduced by 
Dr. Junius Smith. We have here also the Olea fragrans, with 
which we can flavor the tea equal to any prepared for the special 
use of the Emperor of China. The fragrant olive blooms freely 
from early spring until midwinter, and the flowers, when gathered 
fresh and put in the caddy among the tea, impart a delightful 
aroma to the tea. I have, at different times, imported a few tea- 
plants from Angiers, France, and these have been disseminated 
from the Pomaria nurseries, and found to succeed. So that I have 
no doubt of the success of the tea-plant in the middle and upper 
portions of this State. 

Col. S. D. Morgan, Nashville, Term., says : 

Of all the plants for the South Atlantic States that of the Chinese 
or Japanese tea promises most success. Before the war I had a 
few of the shrubs growing in a small parterre attached to my town 
dwelling, from which I obtained leaves as rich in aroma and theine 
as is to be found in tea from any country whatever. The shrub 
grows luxuriantly in Central Georgia even 100 miles north of 
Augusta, to my personal knowledge as I there used the domestic 
article for several weeks' time and found it excellent. There may, 
however, be a difficulty about its culture, for want of a very cheap 
class of laborers to pick and prepare the leaves. This, however, 
is a subject I have not investigated, but I think it is worthy of a 
thorough investigation. 

Mr. Alex. M. Foster, Georgetown, S. C., says : 

The original plant I brought from Columbia. It is a genuine 
Thea viridis, from seed, I think, produced from the tea-plants 
brought to this State some years since by Dr. Junius Smith, and 
cultivated near Greenville. After my plant had attained the height 
of two or three feet, it began to bear flowers and seed. From 
these seeds, or nuts, I have now 50 or 60 plants of various sizes ; 
some of them bearing fruit also. I might have had 500 plants as 
50, so easily are they propagated and so abundantly do they bear 
seed. The only care necessary is to preserve the tap-root as care- 
fully as may be in removing the young plants from the nursery 


bed. My plants are in a rich dry soil, and grow very rapidly, 
requiring only three or four years to reach the height of 4 feet, 
they are as thrifty and bear the vicissitudes of our climate as well 
as the native Cassina. If there could be invented some machine 
to imitate this hand labor, to effect the same slow process by means 
less expensive than the man-hand, I think that the cultivation of 
tea might become not only practical, but profitable to a large por- 
tion of our Southern country. 

Rev. W. A. Meriwether, Columbia, S. C, says : 

I obtained a Chinese tea-plant from North Carolina nine years 
ago, and set it out in open ground in a plot of Bermuda grass. It 
has received no cultivation, and is now a fine shrub, measuring to- 
day six and a half feet in height by nine feet across the branches 
at the base. The soil where it grows is light, sandy land, with no 
clay within two feet of the surface. The plant is not affected by 
the severest cold to which our climate is subject. It was not the 
least injured by the intense cold of December, 1870, when my 
thermometer registered i above zero ; the coldest weather I have 
ever known in this latitude. That the climate of the Southern 
States is well suited to the cultivation of the tea-plant, I think 
there can be no question. I sincerely hope you may succeed in 
your efforts to arouse our people to the importance of its cultiva- 
tion. If only enough tea were made to supply the home demand, 
what an immense annual saving would result. 

Hon. James Calhoun, Trotter's Shoals, Savannah 
River, S. C., says : 

Eighteen years ago some half-dozen tea-plants, brought from 
China, were sent me. I set them in what had been a strawberry 
bed, in a soil friable, of medium quality, unmanured. Nothing 
had been done beyond keeping down the weeds with the hoe. 
The plants have had no protection : but during a portion of the 
first summer, seedlings have some shelter. As yet there has been 
no damage from blight or from insects. Frequently leaves are 
clipped in moderation from all parts of the bush, care being taken 
not to denude it. They are parched in an iron vessel at the kitchen 
fire, constantly stirred, and immediately afterward packed in air- 
tight boxes. I enclose leaves plucked to-day, measuring from 3^ 
to 5 inches, and, as you will perceive, exhibiting three varieties. 


Mrs. R. J. Screven, Mclntosh, Liberty Co., Ga., 
says : 

My experience is that the tea-plant does best in land somewhat 
low, but not such as water will lie upon or is overflowed. I sow the 
seed in the fall, as soon as they ripen and drop from the bushes, in 
drills eighteen inches apart. They come up readily in the spring, 
and by winter are from three to six inches high. Under the shade 
of some large tree is usually the place selected for sowing the seed, 
for if the plants are exposed to the hot sun while young, they 
invariably die the first summer. When six months old they are 
ready for transplanting; have generally a good supply of roots, 
and can be set out at any time from the first of November to the 
last of March. In putting them out, I have generally prepared 
holes to receive them, to give a good start, so that fine, healthy 
bushes will be obtained. In April, 1867, 1 think it was, Mr. Howard, 
from Baltimore, who had been engaged on a plantation for several 
years in the East, visited my father's plantation in this country, 
and expressed himself as surprised at the splendid growth of the 
tea. Being there at the time of gathering the young leaves, he 
plucked from one bush alone, prepared the tea himself, and took 
it on to Baltimore, where he had it tested and weighed. He wrote 
back that it had been pronounced stronger and of superior flavor 
to the imported, and that by calculation he was satisfied that four 
hundred and fifty pounds of cured tea could be made here at the 
South to one acre of ground 

Mr. J. W. Pearce, Fayetteville, N. C, writes : 

My plants are now about five feet high, very thick and bushy 
near the ground ; have no protection from any kind of weather, 
while the mercury has been as low as 10 below zero. They do not 
seem to suffer from drought, as evergreens, and bear a beautiful 
white flower, with little scent until nearly ready to fall. The seed 
are like the hazel-nut ; have a hard shell and bitter kernel, and take 
a long time to germinate. Hence it is better to plant them on the 
north side of a fence or house, where they will remain moist. 
They come up readily when left under the bushes where they have 
been dropped. The plants then can be set out successfully if care 
be taken to avoid breaking the long tap root peculiar to them. 
Half a dozen plants furnish my family, of five or six persons, with 
more tea than we can use. We prepare it by heating the leaves 


in an oven until wilted, tho squeeze them by hand until a juice is 
expressed from them, then dry them again in the oven. The tea is 
then quite fragrant and ready for use, improving with age. 

About 50 pounds of a fairly marketable article of 
American tea has recently been produced by a Mr. Shep- 
pard of Summerfield, S. C, who grew and cured the 
leaves in an ordinary fruit evaporator. On being tested, 
the sample was pronounced equal to the average of China 
Congous and much superior to many of the India, Java 
and Ceylon growths. With other and more proper 
methods of curing, the quality and character could 
undoubtedly be much improved. Much more evidence 
could be selected as to the quality of tea produced by 
ordinary domestic processes, but it is sufficiently well 
ascertained that it is within the capacity of hundreds of 
thousands of _ people in this country to grow and pre- 
pare all the tea they require, leaving the question of its 
profitable commercial culture to be settled by practical 
test later.